- Wednesday 21 April 2021
- via Zoom
Are infants altercentric? The other and the self in early social cognition
The classic view of infant cognition is that it is egocentric, and that sufficient cognitive control is required to overcome these egocentric tendencies. However, this view is difficult to reconcile with data accumulated over the last decade, indicating that infants appear to readily adopt others’ perspectives, doing so despite limited cognitive control. In this talk, I will present a very different view of infant cognition in which infants are predominantly altercentric and biased to encode information that is the focus of others’ attention, even at the expense of their own perspective (Southgate, 2020, Psychological Review). I argue that an absence of self-representation facilitates altercentrism, and that the emergence of self-representation is key to declining altercentrism. I will present new data from my lab in which we have been testing the various hypotheses derived from this account.
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