Think fast! The relationship between goal prediction speed and social competence in infants.

TitleThink fast! The relationship between goal prediction speed and social competence in infants.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKrogh-Jespersen S, Liberman Z, Woodward AL
JournalDev Sci
Date Published2015 Sep
KeywordsEye Movements, Female, Goals, Humans, Infant, Interpersonal Relations, Linear Models, Male, Psychology, Child, Reaction Time, Thinking

Skilled social interactions require knowledge about others' intentions and the ability to implement this knowledge in real-time to generate appropriate responses to one's partner. Young infants demonstrate an understanding of other people's intentions (e.g. Woodward, Sommerville, Gerson, Henderson & Buresh, 2009), yet it is not until the second year that infants seem to master the real-time implementation of their knowledge during social interactions (e.g. Warneken & Tomasello, 2007). The current study investigates the possibility that developments in social competence during the second year are related to increases in the speed with which infants can employ their understanding of others' intentions. Twenty- to 22-month-old infants (N = 23) viewed videos of goal-directed actions on a Tobii eye-tracker and then engaged in an interactive perspective-taking task. Infants who quickly and accurately anticipated another person's future behavior in the eye-tracking task were more successful at taking their partner's perspective in the social interaction. Success on the perspective-taking task was specifically related to the ability to correctly predict another person's intentions. These findings highlight the importance of not only being a 'smart' social partner but also a 'fast' social thinker.

Alternate JournalDev Sci
PubMed ID25659980
PubMed Central IDPMC4522199
Grant ListP01 HD064653 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P01 HD064653 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
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