Document Detail


Infants' causal representations of state change events.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20553762     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Five experiments extended studies of infants' causal representations of Michottian launching events to 8-month-olds' causal representations of physical state changes. Infants were habituated to events in which a potential causal agent moved behind a screen, after which a box partially visible on the other side of the screen underwent some change (motion or state change). After habituation the screen was removed, and infants observed full events in which the potential agent either did or did not contact the box (contact vs. gap events). Infants were credited with causal representations of the events if their attention was drawn both to gap events in which the effect nonetheless occurred and to events with contact in which the effect did not happen. The experiments varied the nature of the effect (motion vs. state change) and the nature of the possible causal agent (train, hand, novel intentional agent). Both the nature of the effect and the nature of the possible agent influenced the likelihood of causal attribution. The events involving motion of the patient replicated previous studies of infants' representations of Michottian launching events: the toy train was taken as the source of the boxes motion. In contrast, infants attributed the cause of the box's physical state change to a hand and novel self-moving entity with eyes, but not to a toy train. These data address early developing causal schemata, and bring new information to bear on theories of the origin of human causal cognition.
Authors:
Paul Muentener; Susan Carey
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognitive psychology     Volume:  61     ISSN:  1095-5623     ISO Abbreviation:  Cogn Psychol     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-30     Completed Date:  2010-12-13     Revised Date:  2014-09-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0241111     Medline TA:  Cogn Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  63-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Attention
Child Psychology*
Concept Formation*
Female
Habituation, Psychophysiologic
Humans
Infant
Male
Motion Perception
Visual Perception
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
R01 HD038338/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD038338-07/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R1HD38338B/HD/NICHD NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

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