Understanding attention: 12- and 18-month-olds know what is new for other persons.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Infants at 12 and 18 months of age played with 2 adults and 2 new toys. For a 3rd toy, however, 1 of the adults left the room while the child and the other adult played with it. This adult then returned, looked at all 3 toys aligned on a tray, showed great excitement ("Wow! Cool!"), and then asked, "Can you give it to me?' To retrieve the toy the adult wanted, infants had to (a) know that people attend to and get excited about new things and (b) identify what was new for the adult even though it was not new for them. Infants at both ages did this successfully, lending support to the hypothesis that 1-year-old infants possess a genuine understanding of other persons as intentional and attentional agents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tomasello, M; Haberl, K

Published Date

  • September 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 906 - 912

PubMed ID

  • 12952402

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.39.5.906


  • eng