J. Kiley Hamlin, Tomer Ullman, Josh Tenenbaum, Noah Goodman and Chris Baker The mentalistic basis of core social cognition: experiments in preverbal infants and a computational model Developmental Science 16
Evaluating individuals based on their pro- and anti-social behaviors is fundamental to successful human interaction. Recent research suggests that even preverbal infants engage in social evaluation; however, it remains an open question whether infants’ judgments are driven uniquely by an analysis of the mental states that motivate others’ helpful and unhelpful actions, or whether non-mentalistic inferences are at play. Here we present evidence from 10-month-olds, motivated and supported by a Bayesian computational model, for mentalistic social evaluation in the first year of life.
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