Watching a video together creates social closeness between children and adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Human social relationships are often formed through shared social activities in which individuals share mental states about external stimuli. Previous work on joint attention has shown that even minimal shared experiences such as watching something together facilitates social closeness between individuals. Here, we examined whether young children already connect with others through joint attention. In the current studies, children sat next to a novel adult who either watched a film with them or was not able to see the film and read a book instead. After the video, we measured children's willingness (i.e., latency) to approach the experimenter holding out a toy. In both studies, the 2.5-year-olds who watched the film together approached more quickly than the other children. These results show that both minimally interactive shared experiences and noninteractive shared experiences lead children to feel more comfortable with a novel adult. This suggests that joint attention interactions, and shared experiences in general, play an important role not only in children's cognitive development but also in their social development and the formation of their social relationships.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wolf, W; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 189 /

Start / End Page

  • 104712 -

PubMed ID

  • 31677423

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0457

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0965

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.104712


  • eng