Knowing who dunnit: Infants identify the causal agent in an unseen causal interaction.

TitleKnowing who dunnit: Infants identify the causal agent in an unseen causal interaction.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsSaxe, R., Tzelnic T., & Carey S.
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume43
Issue1
Pagination149 - 158
Date Published01/2007
ISSN0012-1649
Abstract

Preverbal infants can represent the causal structure of events, including distinguishing the agentive and receptive roles and categorizing entities according to stable causal dispositions. This study investigated how infants combine these 2 kinds of causal inference. In Experiments 1 and 2, 9.5-month-olds used the position of a human hand or a novel puppet (causal agents), but not a toy train (an inert object), to predict the subsequent motion of a beanbag. Conversely, in Experiment 3, 10- and 7-month-olds used the motion of the beanbag to infer the position of a hand but not of a toy block. These data suggest that preverbal infants expect a causal agent as the source of motion of an inert object.

URLhttp://doi.apa.org/getdoi.cfm?doi=10.1037/0012-1649.43.1.149
DOI10.1037/0012-1649.43.1.149
Short TitleDevelopmental Psychology

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