Contrasting the Social Cognition of Humans and Nonhuman Apes: The Shared Intentionality Hypothesis
Version of Record online: 13 APR 2009
Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 368–379, April 2009
How to Cite
Call, J. (2009), Contrasting the Social Cognition of Humans and Nonhuman Apes: The Shared Intentionality Hypothesis. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1: 368–379. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2009.01025.x
- Issue online: 13 APR 2009
- Version of Record online: 13 APR 2009
- Received 3 June 2008; received in revised form 19 December 2008; accepted 20 January 2009
- Joint action;
- Shared intentionality;
- Human development;
- Animal cognition;
Joint activities are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, but they differ substantially in their underlying psychological states. Humans attribute and share mental states with others in the so-called shared intentionality. Our hypothesis is that our closest nonhuman living relatives also attribute some psychological mechanisms such as perceptions and goals to others, but, unlike humans, they are not necessarily intrinsically motivated to share those psychological states. Furthermore, it is postulated that shared intentionality is responsible for the appearance of a suite of behaviors, including joint attention, declarative communication, imitative learning, and teaching, that are the basis of cultural learning and the social norms and traditions present in every human culture.