Twelve-month-olds communicate helpfully and appropriately for knowledgeable and ignorant partners.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In the current study we investigated whether 12-month-old infants gesture appropriately for knowledgeable versus ignorant partners, in order to provide them with needed information. In two experiments we found that in response to a searching adult, 12-month-olds pointed more often to an object whose location the adult did not know and thus needed information to find (she had not seen it fall down just previously) than to an object whose location she knew and thus did not need information to find (she had watched it fall down just previously). These results demonstrate that, in contrast to classic views of infant communication, infants' early pointing at 12 months is already premised on an understanding of others' knowledge and ignorance, along with a prosocial motive to help others by providing needed information.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liszkowski, U; Carpenter, M; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • September 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 108 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 732 - 739

PubMed ID

  • 18721918

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7838

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-0277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.06.013


  • eng