A DRAFT version of the conference program is available for downloading.
NOTE: This is only a draft. Changes may occur before the program is printed.
Thursday, June 2, AM
8:30-5:00 Foyer Registration (all day) Jr.A Book Display (all day)
9:00-9:15 PavCD Opening Remarks – JPS President & Program Organizers
9:15-10:30 PavCD PL01 Plenary Session 1 – Dunn
Relationships and children’s discovery of the mind
Judy Dunn (King’s College London)
Children in their very early years show skills of deception, comfort, and sharing a make-believe world within their close relationships, all at ages when they fail psychologists’ standard assessments of mindreading in terms of false-belief tasks. Why should there be this discrepancy? And why do some children grow up to be stars at reading other minds and emotions, and others have more difficulty? We consider what we can learn from a focus on children’s real-world understanding within their relationships about the significance of emotion, language and communicative experiences in the development of mind reading.
From naturalistic studies it is proposed that (a) early understanding of cognitive states arises through earlier understanding of emotion, (b) language and communication play a central role in these changes, (c) emotional experiences can contribute to the early stages of developments in understanding of mind, (d) individual differences in children’s use of their understanding must be seen within a relationships framework. Longitudinal research conducted in the US and the UK that focuses on how children use their cognitive skills within their different relationships—with parents, siblings, and friends—highlights what we can learn from a relationships approach to studying cognitive development. For instance, what matters in conversations for later mindreading, besides the content (discourse about mental states), is examined: the characteristics of the interlocutor and most importantly the quality of the relationship between child and partner are highlighted. Comparisons of sibling and friend relationships are made that highlight the connections with mindreading between features of the relationships that are similar in these two very different relationships, and that are different in these relationships. For instance, language skills play different roles in connections with mindreading in the two relationships.
Finally, the developmental patterns over time linking relationship quality and mindreading are discussed, with data from studies of children in the US, UK, and adopted from Romania. The evidence shows both that early false belief understanding is linked to later social relationship quality, and that differences in early social relationships (parent-child attachment, sibling relationships and friendship quality) are related to later false belief understanding. It is likely that causal effects are bi-directional, and clear that patterns of connections with mindreading differ across relationships. The motivation to understand others is part of relationship processes, and communication central to both relationships and mindreading. However as Astington has emphasised, mindreading skills are necessary but not sufficient to explain relationship quality. That a child understands someone’s mental states doesn’t tell us how they will behave in their relationship with that person, we also need to understand the child’s motivation and feelings about the partner. To understand the links between relationship quality, mindreading and language we cannot simply partial out one of the triad of variables: it is the overlap in variance that is key. Given the importance of relationships in children’s development, the triad surely deserves our attention.
10:45-12:00 PavCD IS01 Invited Symposium 1 – Lewis
Mediation and mental state understanding
Organizer: Charlie Lewis (Lancaster University)
Within the ‘theory of mind’ debate much recent attention has been focused upon the role of social processes (e.g., Carpendale & Lewis, 2004) and language (e.g., Astington & Baird, 2005) in children’s developing understanding. In this symposium three papers attempt to develop recent themes to explore the role of social mediation in the development of social knowledge.
Vasudevi Reddy argues that there is little clarity or agreement either about what we mean by ‘the social’. A focus on social influences in mind knowledge is often accompanied by an emphasis on action and on the ‘public’ nature of mentality in the traditions of Dewey and Wittgenstein and, following Mead, by an emphasis on mediation. These may be seen as antithetical to a focus on (emotional) experience, which is seen as an ‘internal’ phenomenon obtaining from a traditional Cartesian focus on first person phenomena. Reddy combines the emphasis on action with an emphasis on experience. Both are crucial for explaining and predicting the development of understanding of such phenomena as intention and attention. She argues that the social is – and must be - experienced directly in order to lead to an ‘appropriate’ understanding of other minds.
Cintia Rodríguez considers, from a pragmatic perspective, that objects belong to the social world because they are used in everyday life, and their social functions are not transparent to babies. In this sense, objects are opaque too. During the first year of life, babies need to establish subtle agreements with the adults surrounding them, appropriate their intentions, the meanings of gestures related with how to use objects in a conventional way, symbols or making anticipations before things happens. She argues that only through a long process of semiotic mediation by the adult, where conventions, rules and public meanings take place, can babies begin to know how to use things. She hypothesises that those complex and subtle agreements, as they appear in triadic interactions, have a very important place in the origin of mental state understanding and presents empirical observations of the progression of triadic interactions during the first year of life.
Charles Fernyhough develops his claim that there are at least five ways in which Vygotsky’s ideas can be useful for our understanding of mentalising development. In one, the radically Vygotskian account described by his Dialogic Thinking (DT) model, social understanding develops by the internalisation of semiotically mediated dialogic exchanges with others. Such an approach must meet two important challenges. Firstly, more specificity is needed on the nature of internalisation. Secondly, the theory must include an account of mentalising development in infancy. He sets out some responses to these challenges, firstly by focusing on recent successes in specifying the cognitive processes underlying internalisation, and secondly by showing how the internalisation of mediated dialogue is founded (necessarily) on more rudimentary forms of social understanding, such as intentional-agent understanding (Tomasello et al., 1993), which are probably species-specific. Finally, he confronts the scepticism of Tomasello and colleagues (e.g. Tomasello et al, in press) about the possibility for a role for language in this process.
Experiencing the social
Vasudevi Reddy (University of Portsmouth)
Do triadic interactions say anything about the origin of mental state understanding?
Cintia Rodríguez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
The dialogic mindreader: Prospects for a Vygotskian account of the development of social understanding
Charles Fernyhough (University of Durham)
10:45-12:00 PavB PS01 Paper Session 1
Mathematical and Spatial Reasoning I
Chair: Joe Becker (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Combinatory reasoning and product of measures at elementary school
Faria Moro (Universidade Federal do Paraná)
This paper describes children’s construction of combinatory reasoning when solving problems of the product of measures. References are Piaget’s proposals concerning multiplicative compositions and the psychogenesis of the possibilities, and Vergnaud’s concerning multiplicative structures. Fifty students attending a State Elementary School (7; 8 to 11; 2 years-old) solved four multiplicative problems of product of measures, making use of any type of notation. The qualitative analysis was focused on the content of each subject’s solution. Results show hierarchical levels of the construction of the combinatory reasoning implied on the product of measures relationships. These levels are related to school grades and to the complexity of the problems. The discussion underlines, in the described construction, the marks of a progressive overture to the possibilities in its interplay with the necessities, but also the elaboration of schemata concerning the mathematical relationships involved. Implications for mathematical education can also be inferred from the results.
Taking Jack for a walk: Children and adults’ location estimates in a large, unmarked space, using an aerial photograph as a guide
Beverly Plester (Coventry
Young children have the ability to decode and use aerial photographs in finding hidden objects within the large referent spaces centred on their school playgrounds (Plester, Blades and Spencer, 2002; 2003). We asked 152 participants, children from five to ten years old and adults, to place an object at targets marked on an aerial photograph of the space, but not marked on the ground, to ascertain the accuracy of their representation of location. We explored the importance of landmarks, comparing location estimates for targets nearer peripheral landmarks and those nearer the centres of one- and two-dimensional search spaces. Accuracy increased with age, and directional accuracy developed earlier than accuracy in distance from a starting point. Children and adults utilised landmarks to subdivide the large space into sub-categories, and landmarks consistently attracted drift away from exact placements, whether in targets closer to the periphery or to the centre of the spaces.
The development of participatory norms in first-grade mathematics classes
McConney (University of Illinois)
We investigated first-grade classrooms, focusing on efforts to create communities of learners over the course of the school year. Particularly, we focus on teachers’ behaviors that set the norms for participating in their mathematics classes. We videotaped and then transcribed three consecutive mathematics lessons of three teachers at the beginning, middle, and end of a single school year. We found that, as the year progressed, one teacher regularly engaged students both to offer their own mathematical ideas and to respond to their peers’ contributions. By the end of the year, these opportunities for participation were embedded in a context in which multiple students were required to participate. Thus, the students in this class were gradually socialized to have a voice in the mathematics discussions. We also found significant differences across classrooms. Our results have implications about how teachers play a role in the development of students’ participation in mathematics learning.
Real-life classroom videos for teacher candidates to enhance the development of mathematical knowledge
Judit Kerekes (CUNY)
Real-life video clips about actual school experiences can be very effective tools in teacher education, promoting development of best educational practices for teachers, and enhancing students’ academic performance. With real-life classroom videos, teacher candidates gain insight into how children learn; how children become involved to solve problems in their own way, at their own speed; how children love to do math. Teacher candidates and especially the evening or alternate route candidates are able to experience the beauty of didactics, pedagogy in a diverse, dynamic, classroom framework. Teacher candidates have extra time to think about, reflect on, and analyze the child’s way of thinking. Facilitated by their professor, they can share ideas, observations with their colleagues, based on learned theory and as seen in practical applications videos.
10:45-12:00 Jr.B SY01 Symposium Session 1 – Boom/Dawson-Tunik
Modeling and measuring social and moral development
Organizer: Jan Boom (Universiteit
Item response models have been used only recently to analyze stage-wise development. Because these models have properties that allow psychometricians to address a range of important questions about the dimensionality and reliability of tests, they are now universally employed in test design. These powerful properties also make some IRT models (particularly Rasch models) useful to developmental researchers. Not only do they allow us to evaluate the dimensionality of developmental constructs, they make it possible to address questions about developmental processes. For example, because they convert ordinal data to interval form, they allow us to examine the relative difficulty of performing at different developmental levels. This has allowed researchers to address questions about sequentiality and the nature of developmental transitions.
In conventional test design, an Rasch scale can be thought of as an ability scale. Easier items are at the bottom of the scale. Harder items are at the top of the scale. A higher score on the scale means that an individual has a high probability of correctly answering all of the items that are at or below that individual’s position on the scale. When we model developmental data, the scale can be thought of as a probabilistic representation of development. Interestingly, most attempts to model developmental data have revealed gaps between developmental levels. Somewhat paradoxically, although these gaps violate the unidimensionality requirements of Rasch models, they provide evidence that is consistent with the notion that transitions between developmental stages (hierarchical development) are more difficult than growth within stages (horizontal development).
This paradox has raised questions about the appropriateness of employing item response models to represent developmental data. With this question in mind, Dawson-Tunik reviews a decade of work examining the properties of several developmental scales, Wouters presents a study of Keller’s Icelandic moral judgment data, in which he employs several IRT models to address questions about developmental processes, and Boom elaborates on the implications of their findings for the conceptualization of stage-wise development.
The latent developmental dimension of moral development
Jan Boom (Universiteit Utrecht)
Moral development with Rasch analysis: Stage development rediscovered in Iceland
Wouters (Universiteit Utrecht)
Cognitive change is stage-like: The cumulative evidence from a decade of Rasch modeling
Theo Dawson-Tunik (Hampshire College)
10:45-12:00 Jr.C PS02 Paper Session 2
Culture and Development I
Chair: Yasuji Kojima (Hokkai-gakuen University)
Psychological essentialism and cultural variation: Beliefs about aggression in the United States and South Africa
Jessica W Giles (Vanderbilt University)
There is substantial variability in the tendency for children to view aggressive behavior as the result of stable, intrinsic, and unchangeable characteristics. The tendency to engage in such essentialist reasoning has been linked to a variety of sociocultural factors, including historical contexts of rigid social classification. In the present study, 122 South African and American 7-9 year-olds heard stories about characters who engaged in physical aggression, and were asked about the stability, malleability, and origins of the characters’ behavior. Results suggested that South African children were more likely than American children to view aggression as stable, innately caused, and resistant to change. These results provide evidence that essentialist reasoning varies across cultural context, and that, contrary to a standard view in the literature, American children may be less likely to essentialize than members of other cultural groups. Considering the sociocognitive legacy of apartheid may be useful in interpreting these findings.
Self-compassion and self-construal in the United States, Thailand, and Taiwan
Kristin Neff (University of Texas at Austin)
Recently, Neff (2003) has proposed a self-attitude construct derived from Buddhist psychology called “self-compassion.” Self-compassion entails being kind rather than harshly critical toward oneself, perceiving one’s experiences as part of the larger human experience, and holding painful feelings in mindful awareness. Given Markus and Kitayama’s (1991) well-known model of self-construal differences between the East and West, one might expect Asians to have higher levels of self-compassion than Westerners given their “interdependent” self. However, Markus and Kitayama also argue that Asians are more self-critical than Westerners. The current study examined the link between self-compassion and independent versus interdependent self-construal in the US, Thailand, and Taiwan. Results indicated that self-compassion levels were highest in Thailand (a strongly Buddhist culture) and lowest in Taiwan, and that interdependence was only linked to self-compassion levels in Thailand. Findings suggest that “interdependence” takes on different meanings in different cultural contexts, and cautions against overgeneralizations about Asian cultures.
Cultural diversity in preschoolers’ experiences with language, literacy and math activities at home
Aziza Y Mayo (Utrecht University)
The paper reports the results of a study among 180 Dutch, Moroccan-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch families with preschool-aged children into informal language, (pre)literacy and (pre)math activities in the home environment. A detailed questionnaire, including items of the HOME, was constructed to examine the frequency of occurrence of these activities, distinguishing between different genres of oral and printed language use, and different types of informal math activities, such as counting, distributing, comparing, measuring and sorting, involving preschool children and their caregivers. Data were collected in personal interviews with the caregivers. In addition, background information on the caregivers’ education, socioeconomic status, cultural capital, cultural child rearing beliefs and parenting style was collected. Results reveal marked socioeconomic and cultural differences in the ways families orchestrate their children’s informal educational experiences in the preschool period, that correlate strongly with children’s emerging language, literacy and numeracy skills.
Individualistic reasoning about hierarchical traditional cultural practices in Benin, West Africa
Clare Conry-Murray (University of California at Berkeley)
This study reports on data collected in Benin, West Africa. 96 adolescents and adults responded to hypothetical stories about traditional cultural practices that include elements of gender hierarchy (polygamy, arranges marriage and inheritance). Results indicate that male authority was most frequently endorsed, even in a hypothetical female-dominated culture. However, both male and female participants indicated that women who disobeyed were likely to suffer negative consequences such as violence or divorce if they did not follow a tradition. Most participants also judged the practices as wrong and gave justifications that could be seen as “individualistic.” Thus, this study provides evidence that both men and women construct notions of fairness and apply them even when reasoning about long-standing cultural practices. It also provides evidence that endorsements of hierarchy may be influenced by perceptions of negative consequences for those who challenge hierarchy.
10:45-12:00 Jr.D PS03 Paper Session 3
Chair: Michael Bamberg (Clark University)
Adolescents’ perception and evaluation of own-gender and other-gender groups
M Trautner (University of Wuppertal)
The present study examined various forms of intergroup bias and perceived group variability at the level of adolescents’ gender subgroups. 126 German adolescents (67 males and 59 females) aged between 16 to 19 years listed male and female subgroups relevant to the adolescent culture, performed a series of group perception and evaluation tasks, and, for each subgroup, indicated whether or not they themselves belonged to the group. Results showed that in-group favoritism and out-group derogation, as well as group homogeneity effects, were present in adolescents’ perceptions of gender subgroups. In line with predictions from optimal distinctiveness theory, male and female participants consistently favored in-groups over own-gender and other-gender out-groups, and consistently favored other-gender out-groups over own-gender out-groups. Female participants evaluated male subgroups more negatively than male participants evaluated female subgroups. An out-group homogeneity effect was only observed in female participants. Our results indicate that gender identity in adolescents is rather defined at the level of specific gender subgroups than at the level of the female-male category. Further, in-group favoritism and the tendency to homogenize the other gender group seem to be stronger in girls.
When all things are not created equal: Exploring adolescents developing understanding of kind versus individual identity
Jesse Phillips (University of British Columbia)
Trading upon earlier work by Gelman, (2003), Atran (2002), and Keil (1989), as well as Piaget (1983), this paper is meant to explore possible age-graded changes in the way that young school-aged children differently understand the identity of “object’s” belonging to three distinct ontological categories. That is, the program of research to be reported on here means to get clear about the diverse and changing ways that young people reason about how the supposedly essential features of “objects” belonging to three ontologically distinct categories—categories that are standardly referred to as “things of a natural kind,” artifacts, and persons—and their relation set limits upon imagined continuities and discontinuities of various types of identity. That said, the data to be reported track young people’s shifting convictions about the open question of how different sorts of entities are able to remain the same despite often radical transformation. More pointedly, I undertook to measure, and mean to report, age-graded changes in the way that a building sample of 60 adolescents differently conceptualize notions of kind and individual identity. The findings revealed that when young people were presented with tasks that required them to make judgments about the nature of “individual” and kind identity, the youngest participants proved to be quite insensitive to the distinctive implications of categorical membership and tended to essentialize in a similar fashion across domains. However, their older counterparts while still insisting on the deep-seated, internal, and often hidden indispensable “essential” attributes in dealing with matters of natural kind identity, were significantly less ready to countenance a qualitatively similar brand of “essentialism” in the case of artifact kinds and the separate matter of individual identity.
Belief identification in adolescence: Balancing open-mindedness and personal commitment in the academic, sociocultural and moral domains.
Laura S Page (University of Toronto)
Driven by the question, “Can there be a good reason to be closed-minded?”, this research explores age and domain-related tendencies toward open-mindedness in adolescent thinking. “Belief Identification” is defined as the process of identifying one’s beliefs as parts of the self. While rigid identification with beliefs can be a barrier to good reasoning (Stanovich, 2004), a firm personal commitment to certain beliefs may be vital to supporting important action (Cederblom, 1989). In this research, styles of Belief Identification are defined by the relationships between criteria assessing both open-mindedness and personal commitment. Final data from structured interviews with 80 adolescents (ages 14 and 18, varying on cognitive ability) will be reported. This work will focus on characterizing the emerging styles of Belief Identification, with particular emphasis on their relationship to personal aspects of thought, such as critical thinking styles and self-concept, with a goal to better understand how adolescents weigh our society’s vast diversity of evidence and opinion when making up their own minds.
“You have to shed blood before you can shed a tear”: Emotion-talk in adolescent male group discussions
Neill Korobov (University of California,
The aim of this paper is to examine how 10-year-old and 15-year-old adolescent males construct a range of emotions while discussing sexual attraction and desire in group discussions. More specifically, we will examine how and when young men use ‘softer’ emotions (i.e., ones that evince vulnerability) to manage the tension between appearing interested/disinterested and confident/apprehensive while discussing such topics. To do this, we employ a discursive approach to ‘emotion-in-talk’, with a specific focus on the notion of ‘positioning’. Here, emotions are not viewed as ‘internally-held’ states or processes, but are seen as flexible resources that boys use to position their identities within interactive contexts. Our analyses demonstrate that as the boys get older, their construction of emotions become more varied and complex, featuring both stoic and vulnerable emotional positions, while producing neither one in a straightforward or unmarked way. Such flexibility is presented as an emerging developmental tool for consolidating multiple identities against a backdrop of increasingly varied social expectations. As such, we argue that the dexterous use of emotion-talk represents an important part of the discursive project of transitioning into the highly contested social arrangements of adolescence and later adulthood.
Thursday, June 2 PM
1:30-2:45 PavCD PL02 Plenary Session 2 – Bickhard
Are you social? The ontological and developmental emergence of the person
Mark Bickhard (Lehigh University)
In what way does human sociality differ from that of ants or bees? The sociality of social insects is an emergent at the level of the nest or hive, an emergent of the organization of interactions among the biological organisms: Each individual insect remains as a biological being no matter how complex the social organization. There is a sense in which that is the case for humans, but human sociality also involves an additional social ontological emergence for each individual. This is the developmental emergence of the social person. Modeling how this occurs, and accounting for how it could possibly occur, will be the foci of this talk. Accounting for how ontological emergence is possible at all takes us into issues of philosophy and physics. Accounting for how the individual level social emergence of persons is possible in human beings, but not in insects, takes us into issues of mind and development. Modeling how this occurs in human beings takes us into issues of knowledge, values, and culture. Conclusion: you may or may not be social in the sense of sociable, but you are social ontologically (at least in a major way).
3:00-4:30 PavCD IS02 Invited Symposium 2 – Moore (Sponsored by Simon Fraser University)
The origins of self and other
Organizer/Discussant: Chris Moore (University of Toronto)
This symposium will focus on the development of nonverbal concepts of self and other. In particular, the participants will explore the ways in which developing understanding of self and other are mutually dependent. A variety of different approaches will be represented. Woodward will review her research on how infants come to understand action as object- or goal-directed and how this understanding comes to be attributable to individual agents. Brownell will concentrate on the development of aspects of the objective self and the potential link to social interaction in the second year. Povinelli will review his work on chimpanzees’ self-awareness as well as their ability to interact with objects using tools. In the discussion, Moore will attempt to integrate these different perspectives within the framework of a theory of the early development of social understanding.
Representing others’ goals
Amanda Woodward (University of Chicago)
Self and other understanding in toddlers
Celia Brownell (University of Pittsburgh)
Body-image and tool-use in chimpanzees
Daniel Povinelli (University of Louisiana at
3:00-4:30 PavB SY02 Symposium Session 2 – Singer
“Can a picture be worth a thousand words?” A look at how the nonverbal medium can reflect and influence underlying thought
Organizer: Melissa Singer (University of Illinois at Chicago)
As developmental cognitive psychologists we attempt to identify ways to examine how the mind works. The set of studies in this symposium use the nonverbal medium in both experimental techniques and dependent measures to reveal how individuals cognitively represent and remember information and how these representations change. The goal of these studies is to examine how external representations link to internal representations as a way to get at representational and consequently conceptual change. In the end, the studies hint that underlying our abstract and verbal conceptions are sensory-motor, functional representations without which our sense and memory of the world may be fleeting and unstable.
studies in this symposium use a combination of techniques that provides
insight into how the mind represents information and how the mind’s
representations shift as a function of a variety of input. In two of
the studies, hand gestures are linked with representational change
in two ways: (1) Gesture production- gesture production influences
the construction of cognitive representations by the producer and,
(2) gesture comprehension- gestural input affects how representations
are constructed and remembered. One study examines how gestural production
and gestural comprehension by a novice student influences the learning
of math. The second study examines how gestural input can distort memory
for details of an event. The fourth paper uses nonverbal techniques
(highlighting in math problems) to reveal insight into individual’s
construction of concepts. This study reveals that altering the way
a child represents a math problem (through highlighting certain aspects
of a problem) effects how they solve that problem.
Using gesture in the classroom: Can we apply what we have learned in the lab?
R Breckinridge Church
(Northeastern Illinois University)
Gesture-speech mismatches during instruction and learning: Handing out more information
Melissa Singer (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Leading children by the hand: Interviewer gesture affects children’s recall
Sara Broaders (Northwestern University)
Sources and consequences of changes in problem representation
Martha W Alibali (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
3:00-4:30 Jr.B PS04 Paper Session 4
Chair: Marvin Berkowitz (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
Implications of moral emotion attributions for children’s social behavior
Luciano Gasser (University of Bern)
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the social behavioral consequences of children’s moral emotion attributions (MEAs) to a moral wrongdoer. We expected MEAs to be a valid indicator of the motivation to act morally and therefore hypothesized that children who are prosocial, liked and noninvolved in bullying score high on a MEA task whereas aggressive, disliked and bullying children score low. 278 children, aged 7 to 8, were selected out of a sample of 650 children on the basis of peer nominations on prosocial behavior, bullying and popularity and were tested in greater depth on social understanding, MEAs and verbal ability. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that children’s attributions to moral transgressions were a significant independent predictor of children’s prosocial behavior after controlling for age, verbal ability and social understanding. With reference to bullying status, results showed that bullies and aggressive victims exhibited lower performances on the MEA task than noninvolved and victimized children. Finally, results indicated that rejected and controversial children scored significantly lower on MEAs than popular and average children. The results support the importance of MEAs for social functioning.
Do European American adults apply judgments about moral obligation to situations of care and beneficence?
Nadia Sorkhabi (UC Berkeley)
Judgments and reasoning of 120 European American adults (18-25 years of age) about moral obligation were examined regarding situations of care involving a dyad where one individual (recipient) directly asks another for help (agent). The findings show that, contrary to frameworks that emphasize the influence of individualist cultural paradigm on moral judgments, European Americans do not center on the cultural edict of helping oneself or aim to maximize the agent’s freedom of choice, but also consider actions that ensure the welfare of another as a moral obligation. This is evident in participants’ coordination of the welfare of the agent who must forgo resources and suffer loss in the process of helping (cost to agent) with consequences to the welfare of the recipient if the agent fails to provide help.
Moral cognitive influences on empathy
Alvaro Q Barriga (Seton Hill University)
Numerous theories of moral development and antisocial behavior have emphasized the role of empathy in motivating social behavior. This study investigated the interacting roles of three important moral cognitive constructs in promoting an empathic predisposition: moral judgment, moral identity, and self-serving cognitive distortion. Moral judgment and moral identity did not correlate with one another, but elevations in each were associated with greater empathic responding. Extensive use of self-serving cognitive distortions predicted a lower empathic predisposition. Self-serving cognitive distortions also mediated the effects of moral judgment and moral identity on empathic predisposition. The results suggested that although mature moral judgment and a deep sense of moral identity tend to facilitate empathic responding, empathy can still be partially disengaged (in the case of moral judgment) or fully disengaged (in the case of moral identity) from these motivating cognitive constructs through rationalizing, neutralizing, self-serving cognitive distortions. Implications for moral developmental theory and the treatment of antisocial behavior are discussed.
Promoting social emotional competence in school-aged children: Impact of the ‘Roots of Empathy’ program
Kimberly A Schonert-Reichl (University of
We report on findings from a series of studies that examined the effectiveness of the “Roots of Empathy” (ROE) program on children’s social-emotional competence. ROE, a theoretically derived preventive intervention, focuses on facilitating the development of children’s social-emotional understanding and has as its cornerstone monthly visits by an infant and his/her parent(s) that serve as a springboard for lessons that teach development, emotion knowledge, and perspective taking. Participants across the four studies included children, grades K to 7. A battery of measures assessing emotional/social understanding was administered to children at pre- and post-test. Teachers rated children on dimensions of social behaviors, including proactive, reactive, and relational aggression as well as prosocial behavior. Results across the studies revealed that children who participated in the ROE program, compared to children who did not experience it, were more advanced in their emotional and social understanding on almost all dimensions assessed. Discussion focuses on theoretical issues linking social-emotional understanding to social behaviors and the importance of primary prevention programs in staving off the emergence of aggression in children.
It’s all good. Moral relativism and the millennial generation
Theo L Dawson-Tunik
Motivated by two claims made about recent changes in adolescent thinking, we compared relativism in the moral reasoning of schoolboys interviewed in the 1950s and early 1960s with moral relativism in the reasoning of schoolboys interviewed in the 1990s. We pose three research questions: (1) Are there cognitive developmental differences between the moral judgment performances of adolescents growing up in the 1950s and 1990s? (2) How is the phenomenon of moral relativism manifested in these interviews and how is it affected by cognitive development? (3) Did moral relativism increase from the 1950s to the 1990s? We begin with a description of our research methodology. We then examine the claim that the youth of today might be “smarter” than the youth of previous generations and review of perspectives on different forms of relativism from both psychological and normative frames of reference. Finally we report the results of our comparison of the moral epistemologies of two cohorts of 13- to 18-year-olds and discuss the implications of our findings.
3:00-4:30 Jr.C SY03 Symposium Session 3 – Zlatev/Sinha
Intersubjectivity, grounding and the ontology of linguistic meaning
Organizer: Jordan Zlatev
The process of “learning how to mean” proceeds in an environment rich in sensorimotor interaction, as emphasized by Piaget, but also in a semiotic field constituted by culturally available signs and normatively regulated practices, as pointed out by Vygotsky. Linguistic meaning can therefore be said to be “dually grounded” in both social interaction and convention on the one hand, and in individual (physical) experience on the other. The main focus of the symposium is on the roles of intersubjectivity and subjective experience for explaining the nature of language and particularly linguistic meaning. While agreeing on the close connection between language and normativity, the different presentations give somewhat different views on how it is possible to establish shared intersubjective linguistic knowledge in the first place in their discussions of evolutionary, ontogenetic and historical processes. The authors also conceptualize somewhat differently the dialectical relationship between shared and individual linguistic knowledge. Reaching a better understanding of this dialectics is the major goal of the symposium.
Dual grounding: Prospects and problems
Chris Sinha (University of Portsmouth)
Norms create and maintain prototypes
Esa Itkonen (University of Turku)
Intersubjectivity and the evolution of language
Jordan Zlatev (Lund University)
3:00-4:30 Jr.D PS05 Paper Session 5
Theory of Mind I
Chair: David Kritt (College of Staten Island/CUNY)
Challenging the coherence of the concept “theory of mind”: A critical examination of the theory-theory
Jodi L Peters (Simon Fraser
Recent debates in the theory of mind literature have drawn attention to the meanings of the concepts mind, theory and social understanding. Despite theorists’ articulations of what a theory of mind (ToM) is and justifications for why it can be considered a theory, there remain intractable theoretical differences in the literature. We argue these differences point to conceptual confusion rather than a need for further empirical investigation. We examine the debate over the nature of a child’s ToM from a conceptual starting point by tracing the development of the theory-theory, which explicitly embodies the conceptual commitments of a ToM. A concise characterization of the theory-theory’s conceptual framework is followed by a systematic critique that challenges the presuppositions upon which a belief-desire psychology rests, and clarifies the concepts theory and mind. We discuss the ramifications of the critique for the ToM literature, and consider potential applications of the critique’s conclusions.
Theory of mind, deafness, and language: When deaf children solve appearance-reality and false-belief tasks
Anne-Marie Melot (CNRS
and University Paris 5)
Past research has consistently reported a delay in theory of mind development in deaf children born of hearing parents, while second-generation deaf children have presented some contradictory results. Twenty-eight second-generation deaf children, 60 deaf children of hearing parents and 36 hearing children, aged 5 to 7 year-old, have been tested and compared on 3 appearance-reality and 3 false-belief items. Results show that early exposure to language, be it signed or oral, facilitates the resolution of the two tasks. Deaf children of hearing parents lag behind hearing children. However, native signers equal hearing children in the appearance-reality task while surpassing them on the false-belief one. The difference between these two groups is discussed in terms of linguistic and metarepresentational development. The discussion will be completed with some data collected from on-going work aimed at exploring further how early exposure to language leads to differences in success according to theory of mind tasks.
Belief and desire state discourse and theory of mind in the preschool period
Doug Symons (Acadia University)
Discourse about desire and cognitive states has been proposed to be fundamental to children’s theory of mind (ToM). It has been predicted that discourse about desire states should be developmentally significant before cognitive states, and if true, this prediction would result in different developmental relations between discourse and ToM. Data from 3 studies are presented that examine belief/desire state language and ToM to support this proposition. First, a longitudinal study of joint reading of parents and 2-year-olds shows that desire but not cognitive state language predicts ToM 2 to 4 years later. Second, a cross - sectional study examines desire and belief state language during joint reading behaviour in 4 to 5 year-old children and indices of concurrent ToM. Finally, a study of story – telling behaviour of children shows that cognitive but not desire state discourse about story characters was concurrently related to ToM in preschoolers.
Mirror neurons and the development of social understanding and theory of mind
John Barresi (Dalhousie University)
How do we understand the purposeful, emotional and mental activities of animate beings and how does this knowledge develop? What can recent work on mirror neurons in monkeys and humans teach us about how this happens? Currently there are three distinct kinds of “theory of mind” (TOM): Theory theory (TT), simulation theory (ST), and intentional relations theory (IRT). In this talk, I will argue that IRT is most consistent with recent neurophysiological findings on “mirror neurons” that fire equivalently for intentional relations (i.e., object-directed actions, emotions, and mental activities) of self and other. I will also discuss recent empirical and theoretical work on the development of mirror neurons in monkeys and how this might relate to the development of social understanding and theory of mind in humans.
A systems approach to joint attention
Stuart Hammond (Simon Fraser University)
An integrated systems approach to joint attention can link research in neuropsychology, psychology, and sociology, and thereby dispense with biological black-box concepts such as modules and psychological constructs such as representation. It may also begin to address issues of cultural relativism.
4:45-6:00 PavA SY04 Symposium Session 4 – Calvert
Virtual social interactions, imaginative play, and creative story telling
Sandra Calvert (Georgetown University)
Piaget (1932) was one of the first theorists to recognize the value of play and imagination for children’s development. Imaginative processes allow children to stretch reality and explore the possibilities of what can be, not just what is. Imaginative play also provides an important vehicle for children to explore their worlds and to come to better understand who they are as social beings. In particular, imaginative play allows children to build on the world in novel ways and to co-construct a shared reality with playmates. This panel explores the use of new digital platforms for children’s imaginative play and creative story telling as well as the new kinds of opportunities afforded by digital technologies for making virtual friends and participating in constructive social interactions and activities. We begin by examining the kinds of imaginative experiences that children experience in Multi-user domains (Muds) in which children construct virtual characters, known as avatars, and engage in a range of imaginative playful social interactions such as assuming novel roles, making up games, and participating in playful verbal exchanges. We then describe young children’s social interactions with real and virtual peers in computer simulations designed to enhance imaginative activities and creative story telling. We also describe new software designed to engage young children with imaginary virtual characters who display simulated emotions in response to children’s actions. These interactions with virtual characters are designed to facilitate the development of social and emotional competence. Finally, we describe longitudinal cross-cultural research in which children invent new fantastic machines through online interactions. Rather than disrupting social development, as many opponents of technology fear, our findings suggest that technologies can provide platforms where virtual friends can foster children’s imaginative skills and social development through story telling, creative play, and collaborative activities.
Children’s imaginative discourse and play in a virtual mud
Sandra Calvert (Georgetown University)
Virtual peers for children’s imaginative play and story-telling
Justine Cassell (Northwestern University)
Simulated imaginary characters for children’s social and emotional learning
Bryan Loyall (Zoesis Studios)
Children’s technological imagination
Cornelia Brunner (Education
Development Center, Inc.)
4:45-6:00 PavB PS06 Paper Session 6
Chair: Hanns Trautner (University of Wuppertal)
Children’s understanding of the concept of identity
Manuel Sprung (University of Southern Mississippi)
Understanding the concept of identity is an important achievement in early cognitive development. From early on children have the ability to trace the identity of an individual over space and time. However, it is not until the age of 4 years that children become able to understand that an individual remains the same after some transformation. Another critical issue about children’s understanding of identity is whether they are able to use identity information. Identity information is required when one has gained information about a particular individual under one description and later other information under a different description and then one is told that the two pieces of information were about the same individual. In two studies we documented for the first time this important ability with converging experimental paradigms testing children between three- and six years. The studies revealed that children between three- and five years have problems to understand identity information.
The facilitative effect of emotionally relevant stimuli on children’s rule use
Li Qu (University of Toronto)
Three new versions of the Dimensional Change Card Sort task were developed to investigate how emotion influences executive function (EF). In Study 1, 37 Canadian 3-year-olds and 40 Chinese 3-year-olds showed improved performance on an Emotional Faces version relative to the Standard version, indicating facial stimuli with an emotional component improve children’s performance on EF, and that this effect can be observed in two different cultures. In Study 2, 34 Canadian children did not show improvement on a Neutral Faces version, which demonstrated that facial stimuli alone do not facilitate EF. In Study 3, 16 Canadian children showed improved performance on a Candy version, suggesting that emotional components, rather than faces per se, facilitate children’s EF. These results indicate that emotionally relevant stimuli improve children’s performance on a particular measure of EF.
The role of negation in the acquisition of logical-mathematical concepts
Maximilian Bibok (University of Victoria)
The present study examines the failure of children, 6-8 years of age, to conserve “more” in a number task presented in the context of a transfer of n objects amongst two initially equal sets. Piaget attributed younger children’s failure to conserve “more” (2n) to a lack of coordination between affirmation (n) and negation (n’). The present study examines an alternative explanation, in that, children may be unable to reconceptualize the meaning of objects that are not involved in physical actions, and so omit them from conservation. An apparatus was constructed which permitted corresponding objects across the sets to move in physical tandem when a transfer occurred. The findings showed that the movement of corresponding objects did not help children to reconceptualize the logical relationship existing between those objects. However, findings revealed a clear-cut developmental progression in the strategies children used to solve the task.
Syllogistic reasoning and belief-bias inhibition in school children: Evidence from a negative priming paradigm
Sylvain Moutier (Universities of Caen & Paris5)
Research in deductive reasoning has shown in both adolescents and adults that biases are not necessarily rooted in faulty logic but stem from an executive failure to inhibit. Few studies have examined this dissociation in school children. Here we used a negative priming paradigm with sixty-four 8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds to test the role of cognitive inhibition in a priming version of syllogisms with belief bias effects. The experimental design was such that the misleading strategy “believable-equals-valid” to be inhibited on the prime (syllogism with belief-bias/logic interference) became a congruent strategy to be activated on the probe (a subsequent syllogistic item where belief bias and logic covaried). A negative priming effect on the prime-probe sequence was reflected in a significant drop in probe performance. This result supports the idea that inhibitory control is required for success on categorical syllogisms in which there is interference between beliefs and logic.
4:45-6:00 Jr.B SY05 Symposium Session 5 – Martin
Social interaction and psychological development: Macmurray, Mead, and Piaget
Organizer: Jack Martin (Simon Fraser University)
Activity with others in the sociocultural world is indispensable to psychological development. Given a biophysically evolved human body and brain, mind and self are acquired during ontogenesis through joint activity with others in the context of social, cultural practices and artifacts. The extent to which Piaget subscribed to such a view recently has been recognized by a number of scholars. In this symposium, this Piagetian view is supplemented by the social psychological theorizing of two scholars whose social ontological perspectives have been under appreciated by most psychologists – Scottish philosopher, John Macmurray, and American philosopher and social psychologist, George Herbert Mead. Both Macmurray and Mead understood human psychological development as emerging from interpersonal activity within social, cultural contexts. Their social ontologies of meaning, mind, and self gave primacy to action over reflection, constitution over internalization, and ontology over epistemology. However, unlike some contemporary social constructionist and strong sociocultural theorists, both Macmurray and Mead developed robust conceptions of human agency as irreducible to either biophysical or sociocultural constituents. When interpretively combined with the social psychological theorizing of scholars like Chapman and Chandler (1991), the ideas of Macmurray and Mead provide a rich resource for contemporary developmental theorizing that aims at an adequate consideration of social, cultural contexts and practices within which developing individuals are active with others.
John Macmurray’s philosophy of the personal and the irreducibility of psychological reality
Jeff Sugarman (Simon Fraser University)
The confused, the forgotten, and all the places in-between: Piaget’s and Macmurray’s relational views on thought and action
Bryan Sokol (Simon Fraser University)
Mead and meaning
Jeremy Carpendale (Simon Fraser University)
Reconceptualizing Mead’s perspectival realism and theory of self development
Jack Martin (Simon Fraser University)
4:45-6:00 Jr.C PS07 Paper Session 7
Culture and Development II
Chair: Cynthia Lightfoot (Penn State University)
Jekyll and Hyde on the Island of Mauritius: Adolescent conceptions of self unity in the first and third worlds
Travis Proulx (University of British Columbia)
Following from existing work on cross-cultural and developmental variations in the warranting of young persons conceptions of self unity, we have begun a separate program of research examining a population on the island of Mauritius, which is located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Madagascar. Mauritian adolescents were presented with a comic book version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and asked whether or not they thought of Jekyll/Hyde as one in the same person, and if they did, how they could do so given his radically differing behaviours. Adolescents were asked to make similar judgments about themselves, and other people they knew. All of these responses were reliably coded into one of five categories, each representing varying degrees of perceived self-integration. Like culturally mainstream Western adolescents, Mauritius adolescents also increasingly see themselves as polyphonies of voices and desires, each bound and brought out by emerging local circumstance.
Aboriginal women in government: Perspectives on culture and youth development
Robin A. Yates (University of Victoria)
The identity, health, and social status of Aboriginal people have been affected by colonialism in many ways, one of which is the high incidence of youth suicide. Research has identified a connection between First Nations youth who have a strong sense of cultural continuity and personal persistence and First Nations communities that have lower youth suicide rates. These communities also share eight common factors, one of which is that the majority of elected Band council seats are held by First Nations women. This paper investigates how and why these women became involved in local government and how they conceptualize their relationships with youth in their community. Themes taken from semi-structured interviews with five First Nations women who have or are involved in local government reflect how they conceptualize their roles as women in their communities, what perspectives they hold regarding the development and transmission of culture, and the ways they value youth in their communities. These results broaden our knowledge regarding community aspects that promote First Nations cultural identity, how these women impact youth, and provide facilitate the involvement of First Nations women in government. Additionally, these results contribute to the identification and awareness of factors that foster lower incidence of youth suicide.
The “Hurried Child” in Turkey: After-school activities and anxiety in fourth graders
Asil Ali Ozdogru (SUNY at Albany)
After-school activities play major roles in the development of children and they can vary from unstructured and self-selected ones to programmed and adult-controlled activities. David Elkind (1988) proposed that children are ‘hurried’ throughout their development and expected to excel in many different areas by their parents. In the context of collectivistic Turkish culture, in which respect for elders, protection of youngsters, and obedience are among the primary values, it is important to investigate the prevalence of hurrying among Turkish children who may have less control over their activities. Ninety-eight students from one state (N = 74) and one private elementary school (N = 24) were included in the study. Results indicated that Turkish fourth graders spent more time in self-chosen and highly enjoyable activities than adult-chosen and less enjoyable activities. This study pointed out the importance of children’s control on deciding their own activities, their degree of enjoyment from those activities, and related emotional outcomes.
4:45-6:00 Jr.D SY06 Symposium Session 6 – Birch/Bernstein
Knowing what others know: Limitations in theory of mind across development
Organizer: Susan Birch (University
of British Columbia)
It is hard to reason about what another person knows, believes, or feels. One central aspect of this difficulty is our inability to put aside our own knowledge when trying to regard another’s perspective. The present symposium focuses on perspective-taking limitations that befall children and adults; when they possess specific knowledge they overestimate what another, naïve person knows — the ‘curse of knowledge’ or ‘hindsight bias’. The presentations in this symposium complement each other by providing empirical evidence on these limitations from various perspectives: The first presentation discusses the nature of these biases and the conditions in which they affect our social-cognitive reasoning. The second presentation discusses the relationship between theory of mind and hindsight bias and offers a unique theory to explain the connection. The third presentation discusses the nature of a mechanism for why people have trouble ignoring their own perspective—inhibitory control. These presentations unite research from cognitive and developmental psychology to provide an integrated framework of theory of mind and perspective-taking across development.
When knowledge is a curse: Putting aside our own knowledge to reason about another’s
Susan Birch (University of British Columbia)
Biased perspective taking across the lifespan
Daniel Bernstein (University
Representational and executive selection resources in ‘theory of mind’: Evidence from compromised belief-desire reasoning in old age
Tim German (University of California, Santa Barbara)
6:00-7:00 Foyer PT01 Poster Session 1
Poster Session 1: Sociocultural and Contextual Issues
Posters will be available for viewing all day. Authors will be present from 6:00-7:00. The poster session is scheduled to partially overlap with the reception (6:30-7:30). Do a good deed: bring a poster presenter a glass of wine.
1. Understanding of mind and emotions: Evidence from two cultures
Ana María Carmiol (Clark University)
2. A longitudinal study of social influences from middle adolescence to early adulthood: The role of religious leaders
Andrea Breen (University of Toronto)
3. A cross-cultural analysis of leadership schema through children’s drawings
Christine S Leone (Northeastern Illinois University)
4. The effects of social-cognitive processes for aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth experiencing peer victimization
Wendy Hoglund (University of Victoria)
5. How children’s justifications of the “best thing to do” in peer conflicts relate to their emotional and behavioral problems in early elementary school
Bonnie Leadbeater (University of
6. Socio-cultural differences and the adjustment of mother’s speech to their children’s cognitive and language comprehension skills
Zilda Fidalgo (Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada)
7. The narrative sequence in the therapeutic encounter: an analysis of the action sequences in different narrative cycles
Luciane De Conti (Universidade de Santa
Cruz do Sul)
8. The development of coordinated attention: The role of maternal affect attunement
Legerstee (York University)
9. Jekyll and Hyde and ourselves: Conceptions of self-unity across cultures and across a lifetime
Proulx (University of British Columbia)
10. Preschoolers’ narrative abilities under different storytelling conditions
11. English- and Cantonese-speaking parents’ use of mental-state terms during conversations with preschoolers
Connie Cheung (Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education)
12. Children as researchers: Infants’ research on social relationships to understand their world
Elizabeth Pufall (Boulder Journey School)
13. The developmental relations of perspective-taking and children’s understanding of people from other countries
Gelareh Karimiha (University
14. An implicit measure of prejudice towards Latinos and Moroccans among Spanish children
Carolina Callejas (Universidad Autónoma
15. The relations between attachment, friendship and peer victimization in Korean adolescents
Jae Eun Shinn
16. Serial order understanding in a contextually enriched task: A facilitative effect of number cues
Janet J Boseovski (Wake Forest
17. A cross-cultural comparison between Kenyan and American children: Self concept and occupational aspiration
Tiffany McCall (National-Louis University)
18. Self-perceptions, observed free play behavior, and school problems in children with internalizing, externalizing, and combination behavioral profiles
Jocelyn Wilkie (University of Alberta)
19. The impact of antenatal psychotropic medication exposure on mothers’ responsiveness to their four-year-old children
Shaila Misri (University of British
20. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: Contributions of topical elements in mother-child telephone-mediated discourse
Kristin Kendrick (University of British
21. Interpretive understanding, inhibitory control, and representational flexibility: Relating children’s developing theories-of-mind and executive functioning
Laura Failows (Simon Fraser University)
22. Quality of attachment and reciprocal friendship in preschool children
António J Santos
(Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada)
23. Narrative socialization in Vietnamese-Canadian families: Dinner conversations
Nhi Vu (University of Toronto)
24. Narratives of interpersonal conflict in a violent society: Colombian adolescents tell about their experiences of harm
Roberto Posada (University of Utah)
25. The role of scaffolding in the development of social understanding
Stuart Hammond (Simon Fraser University)
26. Laughter as a scaffold for affective and cognitive synchrony for a mother/child dyad
(University of British Columbia)
27. Art and intention: Young children’s abilities to decode representations
Melissa Preissler (Yale University)
28. D.R.E.A.M. (Discover, Reflect, and Explore Arts Media)—A non-linear, arts-based teaching model
Peter Gouzouasis (University of
29. Fostering children’s social and emotional competence in the class room—a cross-national perspective on the teacher perspective
Martin Guhn (University of British Columbia)
30. The developmental importance of outdoor play
David W Kritt (College
of Staten Island/CUNY)
31. What’s happened to imagery in the early childhood curriculum?
Jeanette M Gallagher (Temple University)
32. Embodied symbols: The connective tissue of the universe
Julia Penn Shaw (SUNY-Empire State College)
33. Mismanaging the role of social interaction in developing students’ cognitions in elementary mathematics classrooms
Mindy Kalchman (DePaul University)
34. Stages of faith In Sri Lanka
Chandi Fernando (OISE/University of
35. A developmental study of social skills in different social status groups
Shole Amiri (Isfahan
36. National and ethnic identities of Black British adolescents in a majority black context
Virginia L Lam (University of East London)
37. Developmental problems and cultural traditions on the act of self-immolation in Korea
BC Ben Park (Penn State University - DuBois Campus)
38. Exploring development in context: A theoretical synthesis and person-centered analysis of youth development
Te’Neil Lloyd (Pennsylvania State University Delaware County)
39. How Indian children spend their time: Implications for academic achievement and behavior
Parminder Parmar (Pennsylvania State University)
40. The role of symbolic harm in Indian-Americans’ judgments about family honor practices
Adam Mitchell-Kay (UC Berkeley)
41. Extracurricular participation to time spent on homework and academic performance: A comparison of sixth and seventh grade students
Lina Sweiss (Northeastern Illinois University)
42. The construction of epistemic subject as construction of social knowledge in science
Luis Mauricio Rodríguez (CINVESTAV-IPN)
43. Analysis on present education in the mean level superior of the state of Tabasco to the Southeastern of Mexico
Emanuel Munguía Balvanera (Universidad Juárez
6:30-7:30 Foyer CD President’s Reception
President’s Reception – Sponsored by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers
Friday, June 3 AM
9:00-10:30 PavA PS08 Paper Session 8
Chair: Michael Mascolo (Merrimack College)
Individuation through socialization: Habermas on GH Mead and the rationality we share
Zachary Stein (Developmental Testing Service, LLC)
Habermas has used Mead’s work on symbolic interaction in order to extract certain key building blocks for his theory of communicative rationality. Communicative rationality can be understood as a theory about how we reach agreement through discourse— how we come to hold something as valid, rational, or justifiable. From this perspective, I review Mead’s work on the genesis and function of shared meanings, the intersubjective locus of identity formation, the socially mediated processes that give rise to knowledge of the self, and the nature of post-conventional moral consciousness. I then show how Mead’s work (in conjunction with Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s) has provided Habermas with the tools needed to understand human development from the perspective of communicative rationally. I claim that Neo-Piagetian theory has a great deal to gain from incorporating the structural aspects of communicative rationality into its theoretical edifice. I suggest it provides a way out of the is/ought conundrum.
From relationships to individuals: The emergence of the dialogical self in infancy
Maria CDP Lyra (Federal University of Pernambuco)
This presentation explores the emergence of the dialogical self within in the process of mother-infant communication. Video-taped recordings of mother-infant exchanges gathered over the course of the first 8-months of life of five mother-infant dyads are used to illustrate three phenomena that appear in these dyadic exchanges and that underpin the emergence of the dialogical self. The first concerns the “abbreviation” of shared knowledge—the ritualization of forms of communicative exchange that occurs within mother-infant dyads. The second focuses on the “double indexal” nature of these exchanges and the ways in which that allows the infant to begin to participate in the ‘answerability’ aspects of communication. The third concerns the ‘explosion towards novelty’ that occurs following the establishment of abbreviation.
The science of consciousness: “Plus ça change…”
Michel Ferrari (OISE/University of Toronto)
This paper explores the history of the science of consciousness. The behaviorist revolution and the cognitive revolution are often considered turning points in the history of the study of consciousness. However, history shows that the real revolution occurred when the medieval worldview built around a notion of harmony was replaced by an atomistic world in which matter was natural and consciousness was ‘supernatural.’ Once this happened, two research programs have tried to study consciousness scientifically. The first, begun by Descartes and Bacon, proposed that and science (empirical knowledge) of consciousness must rely on meditation and memory. When this approach was vetoed by Kant, a new attempt was made to explain consciousness naturalistically. This approach was given a great boost by Darwin’s theory and subsequent evolutionary biology. This approach has had several phases, including the behaviorist and cognitive ‘revolutions’, which are essentially different approaches within the same broad naturalistic framework.
Piaget? Vygotsky? I’m game: Agent-based modeling for psychology research
Dor Abrahamson (Northwestern University)
We discuss agent-based models (ABM) as research tools for developmental and social psychology. “Agents” are computer-based entities, e.g., “people.” The modeler assigns the agents real-world roles and rules, conducts simulation experiments in which the agents follow their rules, and observes real-time data. Thus, ABM are more dynamic and more expressive as compared to diagrammatic models. Also, simulations afford immediate feedback on the validity of the models. ABM is useful for understanding complex phenomena, e.g., the dynamics of multiple individual learners interacting with their peers and with artifacts in their environment. We demonstrate ABM with a simulation that we designed as a “thought experiment” that can shed light on the ongoing debate between two theories of learning, constructivism and social constructivism. The process of building the simulation helped us hone our own understanding of these theories, compare and contrast them, and articulate learning as an emergent phenomenon that reflects both theories.
Studying technoscientists in the making
Reed R Stevens (University
In this paper we examine differing theoretical accounts of the development of scientists as a basis for outlining a framework for the study of “technoscientists in the making” that takes account both of the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge and entry into technical and scientific fields as sociocultural institutions. Aspects of this process have of course been the focus of a great detail of attention in a variety of theoretical traditions. These different traditions tell largely coherent theoretical stories in their own terms and within specific phases of the lifespan. However, when these stories are juxtaposed and sequenced with representations from other traditions, we find a striking lack of narrative coherence. The paper examines points of tension among these different accounts and then explores some possible reasons for them, including different empirical methods for generating representations of scientific competence and strikingly different images of what doing science involves.
9:00-10:30 PavB PS09 Paper Session 9
Piagetian Theory I
Chair: Eric Amsel (Weber State University)
Jean Piaget: An unclaimed and forgotten educator
Yeh Hsueh (University of Memphis)
Was Jean Piaget an educator? Scholarly discourse has been undivided on its consensus that he was not one. Even Piaget himself appeared to brush aside any such attribution of him being an educator (Bringuier, 1980; Duckworth, 1974). However, recent archival research about Piaget’s involvement in education movements between the two World Wars has cast doubt on this idea that seemed to be supported by both scholars and Piaget’s own words. This paper presents a variety of archival documents to argue that Piaget’s involvement in the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute placed him in the forefront of education movements in the 1930s. As the director of the International Office of Education from 1929 on, he set aside his scientific research in order to promote public education around the world and coordinate international exchange to improve public education. By any definition in a modern sense, he was a dedicated educator for decades. But how did all these earlier facts and events gradually give way to the claim or self-claim that he was not an educator? Based on the archival evidence, this paper will explore some possible explanations.
Piaget’s sociological imagination: Insights, illusions, and enigmas
Jeff Weintraub (University
Piaget offers a valuable, but also significantly incomplete, contribution to the project of a socioculturally sophisticated psychology. Piaget’s perspective has been widely misunderstood as narrowly individualistic and blind to the formative role of sociocultural context. In fact, he offers a distinctive, coherent, sophisticated, and provocative theoretical framework for understanding the constitutive role of social context in both intellectual and moral development. Rejecting any approach based on “atomistic individualism,” but also overly “global” or monolithic conceptions of the social totality, he proposes a more differentiated, “analytic,” and “relational” model of social context. “Society” consists of systems of social relationships that shape and transform the individuals who participate in them. However, Piaget’s sociological imagination also has significant limitations in principle and in practice. His tendency toward interactional reductionism largely neglects the institutional and cultural matrix within which interactions are embedded, and thus the irreducibly collective dimensions of social context. And, in practice, there is a striking disjunction (or décalage) between Piaget’s meta-theoretical position and the main body of his substantive work after 1932, which does not systematically situate development in social context. Piaget’s perspective can make an important contribution–but only if we go beyond the limitations of Piaget’s own theory and practice.
The construction of gender in the doll corner: Thoughts on Piaget’s implicit social theory
Keith R Alward
Piaget’s Play Dreams and Imitation in Childhood argues that rational-objective knowledge is only possible if the meaning of signs is not attached to idiosyncratic experiences such as those of ludic symbolic constructions (play), construction of symbols through imitation, or the production of symbols through dreaming. Piaget argues that the meaning of signs is obtainable only through social consensus. This makes the establishment of consensus the cornerstone of an implicit social theory. One of the important tasks that occupy much of the five year olds day concerns the construction of gender. Five year olds are constantly dealing in their free play with what it means to be a boy or a girl. This paper examines a year of play in a kindergarten Doll Corner to see how the children construct a collective understanding of the role of boys and girls. The conclusion is that such a consensus is established but that it does not easily yield itself to a conventional Piagetian structural analysis.
The interplay of form and content in children’s intelligent performances
David Kritt (College of Staten
This paper examines the interplay of form and content in children’s performance on both conceptual tasks and on tasks generally considered as perceptual tasks. Data and theory are used to argue that in both types of task, children are engaged in the construction of meaning through coordinations of form and content. This view of intelligent, meaningful performances is consistent with, and extends, familiar constructivist ideas on logical reasoning, and may serve to counter a devaluing of achievement on tasks generally categorized as perceptual by recognizing the intelligent aspects of children’s performance on such tasks.
9:00-10:30 Jr.B SY07 Symposium Session 7 – Smith
Cognitive-deontic and moral-deontic reasoning: Is there one over-arching account in two apparently diverse research literatures?
Organizer: Leslie Smith (Lancaster University)
Deontic reasoning [DR] is reasoning about “has to”, “ought”, “must”, and thereby about what is forbidden, permitted, or obligatory. Lawrence Fiddick (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2004) has engagingly argued that
DR is a unitary phenomenon, normatively speaking
Central to this argument is the mismatch between the research literatures in the psychology of DR in cognitive and moral paradigms. The several versions of the selection task and conditional reasoning are centrally implicated along with the plural and diverse forms of social and moral reasoning.
This argument is challenging. It invokes a family of complex issues - both theoretical and empirical - to be addressed in this symposium which starts from Fiddick’s argument to deal with two questions:
Is the mismatch between these research literatures real or apparent?
Four papers are presented, followed by open discussion.
Domains of deontic reasoning: A postscript
Laurence Fiddick (James Cook University)
A dual process account of deontic reasoning
Henry Markovits (University of Plymouth)
Domain-specificity, social contexts, and development
Elliot Turiel (University of California–Berkeley)
Deontic norms and psychological facts
Leslie Smith (Lancaster University)
9:00-10:30 Jr.C SY08 Symposium Session 8 – Racine
Assessing social understanding in the communicative interactions of human infants and non-human primates
Organizer: Timothy P Racine (Simon Fraser University)
The social cognitive bifurcation that seems to exist between older humans and non-human primates is less apparent when comparing young human infants to great apes. Although recent research suggests that chimpanzees may know something about the mental states of those with whom they interact, similar to work with younger infants, there is debate regarding what such interactions mean. This symposium will consider the social understanding evident in the communicative interactions of 9- to 12-month-old infants and non-human primates. True to the state of the field, whereas the papers detail the emergence of roughly identical interactive behaviours across species there is some disagreement among the presenters about how to make sense of these behaviours. Pika and Liebal investigate whether captive bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans use communicative signals intentionally. They argue that a signaler’s sensitivity to the social context and the flexible relation of signaling behavior and goal define an act as intentional. Their data suggest that all 4 species have multifaceted gestural repertoires and show considerable flexibility with accommodations to various communicative circumstances, including the attentional state of the recipient. Based on a series of experimental studies of spontaneous manual gestures by captive chimpanzees, Leavens and Hopkins argue that apes point in captivity because they are dependent upon others to retrieve food that is not otherwise attainable. They suggest that the meaning of these gestures, given certain environmental factors and the specific relationships between chimpanzees and their human caregivers, is not something to be inferred, but is manifest in interaction. In contradistinction to those who have argued that human pointing at 12 months is the result of self-centered motives, is not intentionally communicative and does not direct others’ attention to the referent pointed at, Liszkowski uses a series of experimental studies to argue that such acts are inherently intentional and socially communicative in motivation. He also argues that human pointing goes beyond the social function of gesture in the great apes. Racine and Carpendale rely on participant meanings to make manifest the role that intentional pointing plays in the interactions of 9- to 12-month infants with their mothers. They argue that their data and theoretical approach cast doubt upon overly rich claims of early infant social understanding, leading them to consider which forms of social knowledge can and cannot be said to exist in non-language using agents.
Gestural communication of the great apes: Evidence for intentional communication?
Simone Pika (University of Alberta)
Pointing as tool use
David Leavens (University of Sussex)
Motives of pointing in human twelve-month-olds
Ulf Liszkowski (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Gesture and social understanding in young human infants: Logical and empirical considerations
Timothy P Racine (Simon Fraser University)
9:00-10:30 Jr.D SY09 Symposium Session 9 – Liebermann
The relationship between executive functioning and motivation, emotional regulation and everyday behaviors
Organizer: Dana Liebermann (University
Over the past two decades there has been an increased interest in the development of Executive Functioning (EF) during the preschool period. Often labeled as an “umbrella term”, EF is used to describe various processes that “are necessary for purposeful, goal-directed activity” (Anderson, 1998) and “share the need to disengage from the immediate environment” (Hill, 2004). More recent research has been guided by the desire to determine what influences the development of EF and how EF skills are expressed by children in a naturalistic environment. The four papers presented in this symposium are examples of such efforts.
Researchers have suggested that a distinction can
be made between “hot” and “cool” aspects
of EF (e.g., Stuss & Levine, 2002). According to Zelazo & Mueller
(2002), “hot” EF is operating when considering problems
that are affectively charged or motivationally significant and “cool” EF
is involved in the more abstract and decontextualized problem solving.
The first paper of this symposium will focus on the development of “hot” EF
by manipulating children’s self-involvement in a decision making
Self-regulation has been described as a “cognitive-developmental hallmark” of the preschool period and in many contexts is a term that is interchangeable with EF (Carlson, 2003). An aspect of self-regulation that is said to improve greatly during the preschool period is the development of emotional control or regulation (Kopp, 1982). The third paper will present the results of a study that uses the “Snap” game as a measure of emotional regulation to determine it’s relation to attention networks, including executive attention.
The fourth and final paper in the symposium will discuss the use of a new scale, the BRIEF-Preschool version, designed to measure EF abilities in preschool children through the rating of their everyday behaviours by parents and teachers. By correlating the results of the behavior rating scale to empirical data collected in a laboratory setting, the validity of the various measures can be assessed as well as determining the developmental trajectory of various aspects of EF.
The development of affective decision making: Manipulating the salience of first- and third-person perspectives
Philip David Zelazo (University
Emotional regulation and attention in four year old children
Hrabok (University of Victoria)
Executive functioning and its relationship to children’s everyday behaviors
Dana Liebermann (University of Victoria)
10:45-12:00 PavCD PL03 Plenary Session 3 – Tomasello
Communicating and collaborating in infancy
Michael Tomasello (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. Participation in such activities requires not only especially powerful forms of intention-reading and cultural learning, but also a unique motivation to share psychological states with others and unique forms of cognitive representation for doing so. The result of participating in these activities is species-unique forms of cultural cognition and symbolic communication. Support for this proposal is provided by systematic reviews of empirical research with human children (including those with autism) and great apes.
Friday, June 3, PM
12:00-12:30 PavCD Annual Member’s Meeting
Annual Member’s Meeting
All JPS members are encouraged to attend.
1:30-2:45 PavCD IS03 Invited Symposium 3 – Chandler (Sponsored by the University of British Columbia)
Selves and cultures: Transforming individuals and societies
Organizer/Discussant: Michael Chandler (University of British Columbia)
This invited symposium takes up old and new questions concerning the nature of the relations between changing selves and transforming cultures. No one doubts that what it means to have or be a self is importantly shaped by the distinctive nature of the particular culture within which one’s personhood is formed. Similarly, it is generally agreed that cultural change is, at least in part, a shadow cast by personal changes owned, in the last analysis, by individual selves. These broad and easy agreements aside, precious little is really understood, not only about the particular details of such individual and societal interactions, but, more awkwardly, about how to even begin going about the task of envisioning possible relations between matters drawn from these distinct (some would say incommensurable and so unbridgeable) levels of analysis. The three papers forming this symposium each work to maintain a foot in both halves of this usual individual-collective antinomy, while working to avoid running afoul of those familiar “category mistakes” and “fallacies” regularly thought to form some unbreachable hedge between all things personal and everything cultural.
Us and Them: Identity and genocide
David Moshman (University of Nebraska)
That’s not what the elders teach us: Culture, power, and the importance of place in the study of Aboriginal youth identity
Christopher E Lalonde (University of Victoria)
Senses of self: Vygotsky, Mead and new sociocultural studies of identity
William Lachicotte (University of North Carolina)
1:30-2:45 PavB Symposium Session 10 – Johnson
Higher reality and value: The cognitive ground of spiritual development
Organizer: Carl Johnson (University of Pittsburgh)
Despite a surge of interest in the topic of spiritual development (cf. the upcoming Handbook of Spiritual Development), there is as yet no coherent theory organizing thinking in this domain. As Scarlett (2003) argued at the last JPS meeting, the field is splintered into different approaches that look at structure without content, content without structure, all failing to provide a coherent account of the development of values. This symposium is a step toward remedying this situation.
The first paper provides an overarching theoretical framework. This paper rekindles the spirit of Piaget’s original insight that higher organization is intrinsically valuable. The notion of intrinsic value is revitalized terms of contemporary ideas of Gopnik (1998) on theory change and explanatory coherence, Nozick (1989) analysis meaning and value as well as dynamic system theory.
The second paper looks at how this framework may help elucidate the value of children’s involvement in the genre of fantasy. Considerable research has focused on children’s ability to distinguish reality from fantasy and the cognitive characteristics of supernatural agents that make them memorable and readily transmitted. Drawing on a theory of intrinsic value, described in the first paper, fantasy will be interpreted as having more value insofar as it integrates diverse elements (unifies diversity) and offers explanatory coherence within the hyper reality of a possible world.
The final paper looks at the case of ritual action, as it serves to orient children to higher reality and value. Two theoretical traditions are integrated to provide a framework for understanding how children come to understand and participate in this dimension of culture. One tradition derives from speech-act theory (Searle, Rappaport) in which rituals serve to create new social kinds of entities (like marriages); the other derives from an intuitive understanding of special violations of ordinary action (Boyer, Lawson & McCauley) that serve to magically transform material reality. A study is reported, illustrating children’s developing capacity to construct a ritual action that serves to create social and material kinds of things.
Rethinking the nature of intrinsic value
Carl Johnson (University of Pittsburgh)
Beyond reality: Higher values of children’s involvement with possible worlds and supernatural characters in narrative
Melanie Nyhof (University of Pittsburgh)
Making higher reality: Children’s understanding of ritual action
Melanie Jacobs (University of Pittsburgh)
1:30-2:45 Jr.B SY11 Symposium Session 11 – Braswell
Social aspects of symbolic development
Organizer: Gregory S Braswell (Illinois State University)
Children’s symbolic development is typically studied in terms of the individual child constructing or making use of a symbolic artifact. However, symbols are cultural tools that are typically introduced to children in a social context. The presentations in this symposium will highlight several important social aspects of symbolic development. Troseth and Casey investigated how experiences with symbols at home impact 2-year-olds’ use of video and pictures in a problem-solving task in a different setting (the lab). Braswell explored the relationship between preschooler’s drawing skills and their understanding of how others comprehend pictures. Szechter and Liben examined how parents talk to 9-year-olds about aesthetic qualities of photographs. Although each of these papers addresses issue of social aspects of symbolic development, each focuses on different social dimensions (direct social interaction, experience in social settings, and social cognition), different types of symbols (photographs, drawings and video), and different points in developmental time (spanning early and middle childhood). Together these studies demonstrate the importance of understanding the rich social contexts in which children become competent symbol-users. Each author will highlight similarities to and differences between their own area of focus and symbolization in the other settings and ages.
Becoming an apprentice symbolizer
Georgene Troseth (Vanderbilt University)
Drawing for an audience: Links between social cognition and symbolic development
Gregory S Braswell (Illinois State University)
Parents’ explanations of photographs as artistic representations: Implications for children’s aesthetic development
(University of California—Santa Cruz)
1:30-2:45 Jr.C PS10 Paper Session 10
Language & Communication
Chair: K Ann Renninger (Swarthmore College)
Peeking into the mind of the young bilingual word learner
(University of British Columbia)
Over 50% of the world’s population grows up bilingual, yet some of the basic questions of bilingual first language acquisition remain unanswered. Do young bilinguals have one or two lexicons from the earliest stages of word learning? What does it mean for a young bilingual to have two lexicons anyway, and what kind of evidence would be convincing? Case study research has yielded two types of evidence: language mixing in young bilinguals, and the existence of translational equivalents in their vocabularies. This evidence has resulted in mixed conclusions. Further, few studies have examined bilinguals at the beginning stages of word learning: the first 2 years of life. This paper will focus on establishing an operational definition of “two lexicons” in a young bilingual. It will also suggest new research methods that may better help investigate word learning in young bilinguals. Exciting preliminary experimental evidence from bilingual infants will be presented.
Why is parental report of book-reading frequency not a good measure of home literacy? Evidence from a low-income sample
Diana Leyva (Clark
Prior research has demonstrated that children’s experience with printed information at home is linked to their literacy and language achievements. In this study, we examined the relationship between home literacy and joint-talk about past events in a low-income sample. Participants were twenty parents and their preschool children. Parents participated in an interview and completed a Children’s Book Title Checklist. Children’s language was measured with standardized tests. Parents reported engaging in past-events conversations on a regular basis and being strongly involved in developing the child’s language. No strong relation was found between parents’ reports on the frequency of book reading and their performance in the checklist. A significant correlation was found between children’s language scores and parents’ scores in the checklist. Findings are discussed in relation to capitalizing on book-sharing as a family value and the role played by joint-talk about past events in children’s developing literacy and language.
Are mutual exclusivity violations guided by children’s assumptions about people’s word knowledge?
Elena Nicoladis (University of
Children’s understanding of new words is likely constrained by mutual exclusivity (ME), or the assumption that two words have different meanings. Children also know that ME can sometimes be violated. Here we test whether 2- and 3-year old children rely on assumptions of others’ word knowledge to violate ME. In Study 1, we tested if French-English bilingual children violated ME for Chinese words. Then, we tested if monolingual children violated ME for Chinese (study 2) or French (study 3) words. In Study 4, we tested if children’s stereotypes of older people led them to more ME violations. The results showed that bilingual children violate ME for Chinese words. Monolingual children only do so for French words. We found a trend for children to suspend ME more for an older experimenter than for a young experimenter. These results suggest that children use their assumptions about other people’s knowledge in violating ME.
Mother-child patterns of narrative co-construction: The role of mother’s attachment security
Harriet Waters (SUNY-Stony Brook)
The current study examined the communication style of 32 mothers and their 4 to 5 year old children. Each pair was asked to co-construct two stories from simple picture prompts that were organized around everyday attachment-related situations, one with more positive, one with more negative content. The videotaped interactions were transcribed and then rated on how well the mother provided co-construction support. Mothers completed the Adult Attachment Interview and the narrative attachment script assessment developed by H.Waters and L. Rodrigues. Secure mothers were more likely to be effective communicators who easily established a co-construction partnership with their child, helping their children fill in the details of the story line, preferring open-ended questions and why questions. These effects were more pronounced with negative emotion-laden stories suggesting that mother’s knowledge of attachment scripts comes into play particularly when negative emotion is involved.
1:30-2:45 Jr.D PS11 Paper Session 11
Theory of Mind II
Chair: Jake Burack (McGill University)
When do children think they know their own minds? Cognition and self in middle childhood
Ulrich Teucher (University of Nottingham)
We know from “theory-of-mind” research that children have an authoritative understanding of the connection between information and knowledge from about 3 to 4 years of age (e.g., Robinson & Whitcombe, 2003; Wimmer, Hogrefe & Perner, 1988). In contrast, self-knowledge researchers have suggested that children think they do not know their own minds before adolescence (Rosenberg 1979) - with some earliest beginnings around 6-7 years of age (Burton & Mitchell 2003). Building on a recent pilot study, we have been asking over two hundred British children between 5 and 13 years old about their knowledge of specific internal states (e.g., “hungry,” “angry,” “happy”). In addition, we provided our participants with a concrete counter procedure (cf. Ruffman 1997) to quantify their own knowledge and that of parents (or other adults) about children on a sliding scale, finding that even 5-year-old children will confidently assign themselves authority on self-knowledge.
Protection or risk: Does understanding others’ mental states and perspectives help children navigate negative peer experiences?
Hoglund (University of Victoria)
Experiences of peer victimization, rejection and neglect can give rise to a constellation of behavioral, emotional and school problems in middle childhood that include aggression, anxiety, and poor skills in playing with peers. However, not all children show behavioral, emotional or social problems in response to these peer problems. We investigate the potentially mediating and modera ting effects of children’s ability to understand others’ mental states and perspectives on the relations between peer victimization and poor peer status (rejection and neglect) in grade 2 and behavioral, emotional and school adjustment in grade 3. Findings suggest that social-cognitive competence mediates the relation between peer victimization and prospective behavioral and school adjustment. Findings also suggest that children who are rejected and neglected by peers are at increased risk for adjustment problems when they have a sophisticated understanding of others’ perspectives, possibly due to children’s heightened awareness of and sensitivity to their poor positioning in the peer group.
Young children’s ability to reason about what others know
Frampton (University of British Columbia)
The vast majority of our knowledge is acquired through social transmission. Yet, passive absorption of socially transmitted information would often lead to inaccurate learning. People differ in their levels of knowledge, their areas of expertise, and their ability to convey information. Furthermore, people sometimes convey mistaken information out of ignorance, relay information they are uncertain about, or may even intentionally lie. Thus, it is advantageous for a learner to actively assess when, if, and for what types of information, their social partners are credible sources of knowledge from which to learn. This paper will discuss children’s early sensitivities to cues indicating what others know and how this influences what they learn from others.
Intention understanding and its relation to children’s social competence
M Laura Grace Conlon (Carleton University)
Fifty-five children between three- and eight-years old participated in this study. Children were given two false belief tasks, trained on the use of a moral rating scale, and told three stories in which a well-meaning protagonist causes a mishap. Children were asked two sets of questions for each story, before and after the accident, including a moral rating of the protagonist (both before and after), and two intention-sensitive questions. Additionally, children’s teachers rated them on a revised version of the Child Behaviour Scale (Ladd & Profilet, 1996). Results show that social competence is related to understanding of intention, and in some ways to an understanding of false belief. Furthermore, false belief understanding is related to intention understanding. Finally, there was some evidence that intention is a developmentally acquired concept.
“I know what you’re thinking”: Social ToM precedes intrapersonal ToM in young children
Tina Durand (Boston College)
A functional analysis of theory-of-mind (ToM) predicts that ToM differentiates into reasoning about others’ mental states (Social ToM) and own mental states (Intrapersonal ToM) and that Social ToM is developmentally primary. Individual differences in ToM are also predicted based on SES differences in ToM functions. Two studies investigated these hypotheses. In Study 1, 122 middle and low-SES kindergarteners were studied across Social and Intrapersonal metarepresentational reasoning tasks. ToM differentiated into Social and Intrapersonal kinds; reasoning was better in the Social condition. Individual differences showed middle-SES children were stronger than low-SES children at Intrapersonal ToM and that low-SES children showed advanced Social ToM reasoning. Study 2 extended the research to third graders with respect to perspectival/interpretive ToM. Analyses of low-SES children supported the hypotheses on individual differences. Low-SES children have greater strength in Social than Intrapersonal ToM. Social knowledge in the form of Social ToM is developmentally advanced in young children.
3:00-4:30 PavA SY12 Symposium Session 12 – Duveen
The constructive role of asymmetry in social interaction
Organizer: Gerard Duveen (University of Cambridge)
This symposium presents an integrated body of research and theory which addresses the issue of social interaction and development. One of the primary points of departure for research in this area has been Piaget’s distinction between constraint and cooperation as different types of social relations which provide distinct contexts for the acquisition of knowledge, with the asymmetrical relation of constraint being linked to the social transmission of ideas, while the symmetry of cooperation provides a context for the reconstruction of knowledge. From this point of view, asymmetrical social relations have been seen as a hindrance to children making developmental progress through social interaction. However, in the research reported here a closer analytical attention to the communicative exchanges within the interaction suggests that asymmetry can play a more constructive role, in so far as initial asymmetries arising from a variety of social identities (epistemic status, gender, age, popularity) at the outset of an interaction are important both to the way in which the conversation develops and to the outcomes for individual children. The studies presented in this symposium explore this theme through a variety of different tasks in which children are observed working on moral judgement vignettes, the conservation of liquids, the rotation of perspectives and a collaborative memory task. Rather than being viewed as separate types of social relations, this research suggests that they need to be considered as possible potential moments within the conversational space of interactions.
Asymmetry as a condition for progress through social interaction
Gerard Duveen (University of Cambridge)
Social interaction and development: The co-ordination of perspectives
D H Mollard (University of Cambridge)
Gender, academic reputation and popularity as different sources of asymmetry: Cooperation and constraint in “peer” interaction and cognitive development
Charis Psaltis (University of Cambridge)
Asymmetry in children’s collaborative recall
Patrick J Leman (Royal
Holloway University of London)
3:00-4:30 PavB PS12 Paper Session 12
Chair: Penelope G Vinden (Clark University)
Connections and disconnections between social behavior and social cognition: Lessons from Williams syndrome
Daniela Plesa Skwerer (Boston University
School of Medicine)
In this paper we discuss the relevance and potential implications of studying developmental disorders for refining our understanding of the development of social knowledge, highlighting the possible challenges to current models of socialization raised by the unique phenotype of Williams syndrome (WS), a neurodevelopmental disorder with well defined genetic causes. What sets apart WS from other developmental disorders is a unique social phenotype marked by unusually strong interest in people and an engaging and empathic personality, manifested, in part, in spared face processing skills, high empathy, and in verbal expressive ability. In contrast to initial reports in the literature, our studies revealed that this hypersociability does not translate into relatively spared abilities to process social cues from people’s faces and voices, or in theory of mind abilities. We argue that apparent contradictions found in WS between social behavior and social understanding need to be addressed in our theoretical frameworks for explaining development, and that only a meaningful integration of findings from cognitive, affective neuroscience and genetics within a social-cultural-genetic approach could help articulate a complex view of developmental change.
Balanced identity as a developmental phenomenon
Yarrow Dunham (Harvard
Prominent theories have long proposed that one’s beliefs and attitudes are interrelated and self-consistent, and a recent formulation, ‘balanced identity theory’, argues that in particular our identity-relevant social attitudes, such as self-esteem, ethnic identification, and ethnic attitudes, demonstrate this consistency (Greenwald et al, 2002). But is this consistency a developmental achievement driven by the active revision of inconsistent attitudes over time, or does it reflect a constraint on attitude acquisition itself, such that inconsistent attitudes are less likely to form? To answer this question, we undertook a developmental study of balanced identity in Hispanic American children. We found that young children displayed a limited form of balance involving the integration of ethnic identification and ethnic attitudes, but that self-esteem only became integrated with other attitudes in adulthood. These results support the idea that balanced identity is a developmental achievement involving the increasing integration of self-esteem with other social attitudes.
Parents and teachers’ awareness of children’s illusion of incompetence
Thérèse Bouffard (Université du Québec à Montréal)
This study was aimed at examining whether or not parents and teachers are aware of children’s illusion of incompetence, and how they evaluate these children’s behaviors and attitudes in daily life at home and at school. Participants were 328 children (147 boys and 181 girls) from grade and six, their parents (53 fathers and 275 mothers) and teachers (13 males and 42 females) . Children responded to a standardized test of mental ability and to a questionnaire about perceived competence: taken together these measures allowed to identify children having an illusion of incompetence. Teachers and parents assessed children’s daily life behaviors and attitudes, and parents also assessed children’s temperament. Adults also evaluated whether they believe the child over, under, or correctly estimate his/her competence. Findings of this study are intriguing. Adults, particularly teachers seem quite unable to recognize children who over or underestimate themselves. At the same time, they judge less favorably children with an illusion of incompetence with regard to attitudes and behaviors in daily life, and parents described them as having a less easy going temperament. Thus, it looks like that adult does not make connection between children’s negative self-evaluation and attitudes and behaviors linked to this evaluation.
Children’s changing conceptions of psychopathology: Relations to social perspective-taking and emotional understanding
Cory L Pedersen (Kwantlen University College)
Gender and grade differences in children’s conceptions of psychopathology were examined in relation to social perspective taking and emotional understanding to determine whether children’s conceptions are associated with concomitant changes in these constructs. 160 children across grades one, four, and seven were read a series of vignettes and administered measures assessing their conceptions of psychopathology, perspective taking, and emotional understanding. Results revealed significant increases across grades in both social perspective taking and emotional understanding and significant decreases in positive conceptions of psychopathology. Moreover, a generally consistent age-related increase in the use of psychological illness attributions of causality and an age-related decrease in the use of physical/biological explanations across different types of disorders were revealed. Finally, the results demonstrated that all children perceived the conduct-disordered vignette character as the most severe and least likeable vignette character with the poorest long-term prognosis.
Daily fluctuations in self-esteem and social anxiety in children
Oosterwegel (Utrecht University)
Fluctuations in self-esteem moderate the effect of level of self-esteem on social and emotional functioning in adults. Instable self-esteem seems symptomatic for individuals who are at a loss about who they are. We assessed level of self-esteem, fluctuations in self-esteem, and social anxiety in 171 children age 8 or 12. At Day 1, they completed Harter’s scales for self-perceived competence to assess their level of self-esteem. At Day 2-6, they filled in the sub-scales for global self-esteem and self-evaluations in the domain of social acceptance. Finally, they completed the Social Anxiety Scale for Children. The results show no age-differences for instability. Instability in perceived social acceptance was related to social anxiety for the 8 year olds, while instability in global self-esteem was not. Instability was unrelated to social anxiety in the older age-group. Additional data on age 10 and 14 and further self-evaluative domains will be presented.
3:00-4:30 Jr.B SY13 Symposium Session 13 – Wainryb
Children’s and adolescents’ thinking about power struggles and injustice: Confrontation, submission, and subterfuge
Organizer/Discussant: Cecilia Wainryb (University of Utah)
Interpersonal relationships are such that, not infrequently, a person who has more power (e.g., based on age, gender, physical strength, sexual orientation, or status in the peer group) attempts to control another person (e.g., by making unreasonable demands, harassing, teasing, excluding, restricting freedom). The person with lesser power might go along and comply, might engage in direct opposition and defiance, or might resist the demands indirectly by engaging in deception or some other covert behavior. These are significant problems in childhood and adolescence. Many children and adolescents find themselves in this kind of situation and respond in various ways at one time or another—but how do they make sense of these situations? What do they think about the power differentials and about the exertion of power? What meanings do they attach to each of the ways in which one might respond in those situations? The three papers included in this symposium report research findings bearing on how children and adolescents understand familiar instances of power struggle, and what they think about behaviors entailing direct confrontation, submission, and subterfuge as responses to experiences of injustice.
Negotiating personal expression, group belonging, and power: Adolescents’ reasoning about peer group exclusion and teasing
Stacey Horn (University of Illinois)
Children’s and adolescents’ developing perceptions of gender inequality
Kristin Neff (University of Texas at Austin)
Children’s and adolescents’ thinking about responses to injustice: Compliance, subversion, and opposition
Leigh Shaw (Weber State University)
3:00-4:30 Jr.C SY14 Symposium Session 14 – Milbrath
Text and Talk: Quantitative reinterpretations of qualitative narrative analysis
Organizer: Constance Milbrath (University of California, San Francisco)
Narrative analysis allows examination of natural language in natural contexts without sacrificing the theoretical complexity researchers bring to the questions they study (Daiute & Lightfoot, 2004). Through the use of literary tools like metaphor and genre, discourse analysis methods with their focus on grammatical and linguistic components, or through theoretically grounded analysis of meaning, narrative research begins by decoding the form and content of text and talk into an interpretive frame. Although quantification of this enriched data seems anathema to some, aided by technology an increasing number of investigators are developing innovative methods to integrate these rich qualitative analyses with quantitative analytic strategies common in psychological research. Papers presented in this symposium examine methods researchers use to transform theoretically informed qualitative analyses of narrative data to quantitative data and the content increasing potential of such methods.
Ann Cameron extends her previous research on listener awareness by exploring a micro-genetic analysis of the characteristics of naturalistic telephone exchanges between parents and grandparents and their children/grandchildren to determine which aspects of successful exchanges are associated with strong audience awareness and, ultimately, of clear oral expression. Cameron will discuss the use of both psycholinguistic- and discourse/conversation-analytic assessments used to quantify and to qualify the interactions that generated and tested hypotheses about the construction of meaning in communications.
Working within a neo-Piagetian tradition, Anne McKeough will present a developmental model of narrative knowledge in early adolescence that maps out the constituents of a central narrative structure and its developmental transformations. The multidimensional model rests on analyses of structural, social, and grammatical components that moves closer to articulating the nature of narrative thought. McKeough will describe the qualitative and quantitative analyses methods that form the foundations of the developmental model.
Cynthia Lightfoot addresses the transformation of identity in adolescents and young adults through the lens of the fictional stories they write in the context of school assignments. Taking time, conflict, and genre as core analytic structures derived from historical analyses of representations of self in literature, Lightfoot’s analysis illustrates the emergence across the adolescent years of an interpretive understanding of self. In the context of promoting an interdisciplinary hermeneutic methodology, she will argue for bridging the theoretical divide that currently separates qualitative and quantitative developmental research.
Culturally shared models of romantic relationships are a repository for adolescent reasoning around social and sexual relationships. Milbrath and Eyre have studied interview accounts centered on these cultural models in adolescents from two distinct race/ethnicity groups with methods developed around both qualitative and quantitative analyses. This presentation will discuss this evolving methodology and the integration of the methods to produce an interpretation of the cultural systems of adolescence.
Multiple approaches to making meaning
Catherine Ann Cameron (University of British Columbia)
Central social structures in adolescence: Mapping the development of narrative thought
Anne McKeough (University of Calgary)
The emergence of hypothetical selves and possible futures in adolescents’ fictional narratives: An interdisciplinary hermeneutic approach
Cynthia Lightfoot (Penn State Delaware County)
Analyzing cultural models in adolescents account of culture
Milbrath (University of California, San Francisco)
3:00-4:30 Jr.D DS01 Discussion Session 1
Revisiting scaffolding: What can we say and what still needs to be figured out?
Nira Granott (OORIM Educational Media)
The discussion focuses on issues of theory and practice in the study of scaffolding and suggests implications and further directions for studying scaffolding in development and learning. The discussion includes re-definition of the concept of scaffolding and theoretical dynamic constructive models of scaffolding: functional scaffolding, coactive scaffolding, and reiterative scaffolding. To link theory, research, and implementation, the arguments are demonstrated in studies of parent-child, adult-adult, and student-teacher interactions, in diverse contexts and especially education. We question how the educational system can re-structure to promote optimal scaffolding for students by educators, parents and peers. These questions are discussed in relation to character education, indicating that educators must learn developmentally appropriate expectations for character development and how to accommodate scaffolding to developmental levels, and to building students’ confidence. Examples demonstrate the proposed extensions of the definition of scaffolding, its implications for research methods, and suggest ways for forging a research agenda.
4:45-6:00 PavCD PL04 Plenary Session 4 – Hallpike
The anthropology of moral development
Christopher Hallpike (McMaster University)
Anthropologists have a well-deserved reputation as cultural and moral relativists, but there is another tradition in anthropology of comparative and evolutionary studies represented by such scholars as Hobhouse, Ginsberg, Kluckhohn, and von Fürer-Haimendor and which I have continued. Our evidence shows that as societies have become more complex there has been a corresponding development in moral thinking so that we have different levels among hunter-gatherers, tribal societies, and literate civilisations. For example, the motives and intentions of individuals are increasingly taken into account when assessing their responsibility for their actions; the reasons for behaving morally develop from custom and fear of punishment and social ridicule to explicit moral principles and private conscience; ideas of justice develop from simple reciprocity and equal exchange to mutual perspective-taking and the Golden Rule, while there is growing awareness of the inner mental life of the individual and self-analysis.
This is a clear indication that moral thinking is constrained by the requirements of social life, but it is far too simplistic to conclude that social organization merely determines the forms of moral thought. This is because there is an obvious resemblance between these anthropological findings and those that developmental psychologists (notably Piaget and Kohlberg) have made of children and adolescents particularly in modern Western society. Piaget’s model of the transition from Moral Heteronomy to Moral Autonomy, and Kohlberg’s Levels of the Pre-Conventional, Conventional, and Post-Conventional moral thinking between them capture many of those features of the development of moral thought that have been noted by anthropologists.
This resemblance shows that we have to take account of psychological as well of social factors, but anthropologists have always objected that culture and social organization are collective phenomena, and that it is therefore a fundamental error to try to explain them by recourse to individual psychology. The fallacy in this argument is that it forgets that culture still has to be transmitted through individual minds, that have to assimilate it to their own cognitive structures. And if the cultural milieu is undemanding, then there is no reason why the average individual’s cognitive development should continue beyond, for example, Kohlberg’s Pre-Conventional Level. Contrary to some people’s belief, it is quite possible to have a viable society whose members are at this level of moral development, just as it is perfectly possible to have societies where the average level of cognitive development in number, space, time, and causality is Pre-Operational.
I am certainly not claiming, of course, that cognitive development itself determines the development of culture and social organization – that would only repeat the errors of social determinism in a new way. The level of social complexity is the result of primarily non-psychological factors, such as economy, population density, political leadership, and so on. But there is a dynamic interaction between culture and individual psychology in which individuals assimilate their culture and social organization in ways that are easiest in terms of the developmental paradigm, which is why we do not find Post-Conventional moral thinking among hunter-gatherers or tribal societies.
6:00-7:00 Foyer PT02 Poster Session 2
Poster Session 2: Cognition and Social Cognition
Posters will be available for viewing all day. Authors will be present from 6:00-7:00.
1. The role of counterfactual reasoning in 1st and 2nd orders’ false belief inference
Joseph Gentet (Universities of Caen & Paris5)
2. Determinants of perseveration in the dimensional change card sort
Dick (Temple University)
3. Parental use of mental state language in narrative with young children: A predictor of children’s mental state language and emotional understanding
Nancy Mcquaid (Simon Fraser University)
4. Boundary extension is intact in children from 5 years of age
van Hamel (McGill University)
5. Children talk about social exclusion: Concerns with fairness and autonomy
Beverly Brehl (University of Utah)
6. Children’s understanding of the immune system: Integrating the cognitive-developmental and intuitive theories perspectives
L Landry (University of Florida)
7. Preschoolers’ use of shared knowledge for word learning
Carroll (Vanderbilt University)
8. Adolescents’ judgments and reasoning about the fairness of democratic government: A cross-cultural comparison between China and Canada
Charles C Helwig (University of Toronto)
9. Individual propensity for engaging in rational or intuitive moral judgment processes
Christopher S Newitt (University of British Columbia)
10. Children’s biased assessments of what others know and believe
Courtney Edgar (University of British Columbia)
11. Clarifying the developmental relation between theory of mind and executive functions
Sarah Ingram (University of Victoria)
12. The role of affective-motivational processes in the DCCS
Dana Liebermann (University of Victoria)
13. Developmental relations among social understanding, cognitive flexibility, and language in toddlers
Emma Climie (University of Victoria)
14. Preschoolers reason about the artist’s mental representations when naming a drawing
Erika Nurmsoo (Yale University)
15. A developmental study of the relationship between social cognition and conception of lying in children
Samaneh As’adi (University
16. Midwestern First Grade Children’s Prerogative
Elsa K Weber (Purdue University Calumet)
17. Infant understanding of the intentional stance: Imitation of unsuccessful actions of people and inanimate agents
Gabriela Markova (York University)
18. “Early representational insight”? Examining two-year-olds’ initial success in a symbolic task
Georgene Troseth (Vanderbilt University)
19. Interpretive theory of mind and peer relations: The role of interpersonal negotiation strategies
Gabriela Ionita (Simon Fraser University)
20. The influence of social relationships on the development of social cognition in institutionalized children
Gabriela Ionita (Simon Fraser
21. Changing representations in physics: minimal changes in conceptions
Hiroshi Maeda (International Christian University)
22. Siblings as teachers: Individual differences in children’s teaching styles
Holly E Recchia (Concordia University)
23. Asperger Syndrome and theory of mind revisited: Detecting the cognitive underpinnings of the social deficits
Jonathan Leef (University of Toronto)
24. The role of interest in Asperger and non-Asperger development
Idit Katz (Ben-Gurion University)
25. Theory of mind and language: Mental state verbs mentioned by 6 to 7 year old children
Julie Mélançon (Université Laval)
26. False belief understanding: Do person and mood matter?
Laura Baptie (University of Victoria)
27. Joint attention, attention, and word learning
Laura Shneidman (University
28. Beyond theory of mind: Reasoning based on social rules
Dack (University of Toronto)
29. Secure base narratives structured by word prompt lists and children’s secure base behavior
Manuela Veríssimo (Instituto Superior
de Psicologia Aplicada)
30. Relations of emotional understanding to dimensions of aggression and prosocial behaviour in pre and early adolescents
Mira Williams (Kwantlen
31. Siblings’ construction of shared meanings in pretend play and internal state language
Nina Howe (Concordia University)
32. Children’s images of the USA president: Benevolent, benign or commander
Regina Kim (Smith College)
33. The development of graphic resources for depicting human action in still pictures.
Chie Kotake (Smith College)
34. Social and moral judgments about pesticides and the natural environment: A developmental study with farm worker children
Rachel L Severson (University
35. Children’s difficulties with changing interpretation of the identity of figures.
Manuel Sprung (University of Southern Mississippi)
36. Children’s preferences to learn from knowledgeable others: Keeping track of what others know
Sophie Vauthier (University of British
37. Executive function and pretense in preschool children
M Carlson (University of Washington)
38. Development of language in autism: A longitudinal look at vocabulary development using the Communication Development Inventory (CDI)
Smith (University of Alberta)
39. Narratives of conflict interactions: Children’s construction of emotion and conflict resolution
Alexis R Harris (Church Health Center)
40. Meaning equivalence facilitates near and far transfer skills
Kavita L Seeratan (University of Toronto)
41. The role of social interaction in transition to the period of formal operations
Maria Judith Sucupira Da Costa Lins (University Federal Rio De Janeiro- Brasil)
42. Social life for social knowledge: A study in autism
Jessica A Meyer
(Institute of Child Health, UCL)
6:30-7:30 Foyer CD Second Reception
Reception (no host bar) - Sponsored by Psychology Press
Saturday, June 4, AM
9:00-10:30 PavA SY15 Symposium Session 15 – Keller/Turiel
Sources of change: Social and individual
Organizer: Monika Keller (Max
Planck Institute for Human Development)
This symposium will document the dialectical process of social and individual transformation processes. The first paper will be based on research from several disciplines examining how individuals attempt to change social norms and cultural practices. Inequalities and injustices ranging from the family to government produce morally based disagreements and discontents with existing social practices. Consequently, individuals’ social and moral judgments go hand-in-hand with social conditions in producing social transformations. It is proposed that collective movements, in part, are motivated by changes desired by individuals. Individuals are sources of social change as much as social conditions are sources of changes in the individual.
In the second paper Mainland China is taken as a fascinating natural experiment to address this dialectical relation. Empirical findings of a time-lagged cross-sectional and longitudinal study on socio-moral reasoning about close relationships of friendship and family in children and adolescents demonstrate the influence of changing social conditions on individual development. In moral decision-making self-interest is enhanced and a normative orientation (filial piety) is decreased. It will be argued that these individual changes can be seen as a source of further social changes that cannot be compensated by the societal attempt to intensify moral socialization in school.
The third paper discusses theory and research relevant to social identity development among young people living in nations in political transition. Based on social theories of globalization and theories of identity development results from a case study in Croatia are presented. The analyses integrate socio-historical, domain and discourse theories. It will be examined how children conceptualize diverse socio-political systems operating in their transitional nations and how they apply those conceptualizations to identity-related practices, such as civic participation and discrimination. The project extends previous research by focusing on children experiencing dramatic changes in socio-political systems over time and/or context.
The fourth paper presents the indigenous peoples on the west coast of Canada as a special case to demonstrate the forces of social change that impinge upon developing individuals and whole cultural groups. Recent treaty processes between native groups and the federal government aim to “devolve” power into the hands of local indigenous groups. Such advances in self-government are expected to produce positive changes in youth health and a decreased incidence of poverty indicators. The data will document the relation between the choices made by indigenous communities in allocating scare resources to projects that support cultural and political goals and the physical and cultural ‘health’ of young persons.
Individuals and social change
Elliot Turiel (University of California–Berkeley)
Cultural change and individual development: A study in China
Keller (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
Social identity development in transitional nations
Colette Daiute (The
Graduate Center, CUNY)
Managing the devolution of power: How Canadian Aboriginal communities negotiate cultural, political, and individual change
Christopher E Lalonde (University of Victoria)
9:00-10:30 PavB SY16 Symposium Session 16 – Wiser
Understanding, building, and using symbolic representations of space and time
Organizer: Marianne Wiser (Clark University)
This symposium focuses on children coming to create, understand and use symbolic representations of space, music, and time for the purpose of communication. The topics include early understanding of maps and 3D models by pre-schoolers; 7-and 8-year-olds developing a concept of volume and its measurement via interaction of discussions and inscriptions; 9-10 year-olds reflecting on and reconceptualizing their understanding of the music they create by inventing and sharing notations for it; and 11-16 year-olds constructing and evaluating representations of motion and space.
The papers address core issues in the development of children as “notators” and “inscriptors.” Developing idiosyncratic notations, understanding the culturally accepted ones, and constructing domain-specific knowledge can be viewed as co-constructive and co-constitutive processes, which happen via group interactions. Actively sharing information via external representations is an integral part of aligning one’s knowledge of a domain to that of one’s culture, via the formalism that is used to represent it. As such it is a mechanism for conceptual change. Multiple representations allow multiple perspectives on different aspects of the domain; over time, those perspectives get integrated via the inscriptions to provide new knowledge. At the same time, one can also conceptualize and study metarepresentational development (i.e., knowledge about representations themselves) as a domain of knowledge in its own right, “at the service” of different domains of knowledge, but with its own developmental trajectories, not unlike spoken language.
These developmental changes are protracted
and multi-faceted. Leyva and Wiser focus on the role of perceptual
similarity, intentionality, and transfer between symbolic domains,
as young children’s establish
referential relations between maps and models and the spaces they represent.
Knapp and Lehrer, and Bamberger show that invented and traditional
notations are sources of discovery about the domains they represent,
and that productive conflicts arising from clashes between representations
and representations and their referents, can drive development and
conceptual change. DiSessa examines the generative resources children
draw on to create and revise representations, and their critical abilities,
arguing that metarepresentational competence evolves as a semi-autonomous
domain of knowledge.
Development of young children’s symbolic understanding of maps and models
Diana Leyva (Clark University)
Changes in children’s conceptions of spatial measure: Coordinating talk and inscription
Nina Knapp (Vanderbilt University)
From path-makers to map-makers: Time, space, and motion
Jeanne Bamberger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Meta-Representational Competence as a Semi-Autonomous Domain
Andrea diSessa (University of California Berkeley)
9:00-10:30 Jr.B PS13 Paper Session 13
Chair: Sandra Bosacki (Brock University)
The influence of social experience on children’s intergroup attitudes
McGlothlin (University of Maryland, College Park)
Intergroup attitudes were assessed in European American, African American, Latino, and Asian American children from ethnically heterogeneous schools and in European American children from ethnically homogeneous schools, in 1st and 4th grades, to test hypotheses about implicit racial biases, perceptions of intergroup and intragroup similarity, and judgments regarding cross-race friendships. Two assessments, an Ambiguous Situations Task and a Perceptions of Similarity Task, were administered to all participants. The findings revealed that European American children attending homogeneous schools displayed bias in their interpretations of ambiguous situations as well as in their evaluations of cross-race friendship. The findings from the Similarity Task were that all children focused on shared interests to a greater extent than shared race in judgments of similarity and friendship potential. The findings point to the need for a multi-method assessment of intergroup attitudes in children, as well as to further investigation of the impact of intergroup contact on children’s social and moral cognition.
Children’s inferences about the fundamental nature of physical and relational aggression
Jessica W Giles (Vanderbilt University)
Relational aggression is a preferred form of aggression among girls as early as preschool (Crick, Casas, & Mosher, 1997). However, we know little about how children make sense of these and other aggressive behaviors. In this study, sixty-one 4-12-year-olds heard stories in which characters engaged in physical or relational aggression, and then answered questions about the stability, malleability, and origins of the characters’ behavior. Younger children were especially likely to view relational and physical aggression as stable, unchangeable, and innately caused. All children viewed physical aggression as more fundamental and unchangeable than relational aggression. Girls were more likely than boys to make such essentialist inferences about relational aggression. Results suggest that even young children hold systematic beliefs about the nature of relational versus physical aggression. This study contributes to growing evidence that young children may be more likely than older children to engage in essentialist reasoning in the sociomoral domain
Children’s and adolescent’s interactions in dyadic competitive tasks: Winners and losers in social exchanges
Christina M Rinaldi (University
Many social interactions between individuals contain both competitive and cooperative elements (Richard et al., 2002). In order to gain a better understanding of how children and adolescents negotiate successful social exchanges, the present study examined the (a) social interactions of males and females across competitive situations, (b) links between social functioning and task performance, and (c) perceptions of self and partner behaviours in exchanges. Fifty-six children (M = 9.67 years, SD = 6.43 months) and 52 adolescents (M = 13.8 years, SD = 7.94 months) participated. Students and teachers completed a standardized behaviour checklist assessing adaptive competencies. Students were paired with a same-sex peer and completed both a within-dyad and outside-dyad competitive task to assess the impact of context on the effectiveness of social interactions. Findings revealed both age and gender differences. Results will be discussed from a social cognitive framework, and practical implications will be highlighted.
Reasoning in interpersonal exchange: ‘On-line’ inferences about emotions, obligations and beliefs by young children while unfolding short-narratives
Maria Nunez (Glasgow Caledonian University)
In three studies, groups of three- to five-year-old hearing pre-schoolers and deaf children were presented with short narratives that required on-line inferences about either emotions, or reciprocal obligations or beliefs. Narratives were accompanied by sets of pictures. The story was “unfolded” as the child turned over the cards faced downwards on the table. Card next to the last in the episode-sequence contained information that was either consistent or inconsistent with the expected ‘event’ (in terms of emotions, beliefs or reciprocal obligations, depending on the study and task). Both children’s response times (RT) and their justifications to the consistent or inconsistent episode were assessed. Findings indicate that all groups reacted to the narrative inconsistencies but showed distinctive patterns of responses. In general, younger hearing pre-schoolers and deaf ‘late signers’ differ significantly from older hearing pre-schoolers and deaf ‘native signers’ both in their RT and justifications.
9:00-10:30 Jr.C SY17 Symposium Session 17 – Liszkowski/Saylor
Pointing, communicative intentions, and reference to the absent: Infant communicative and social-cognitive abilities
Organizer: Ulf Liszkowski
(MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Human communication entails the exchange of referential information with the intent of affecting a recipient’s mind. Beginning around 12 months, infants show an early manifestation of prelinguistic intentional communication, e.g. pointing. However, some researchers have suggested that infants’ early communicative behaviors do not reflect communicative intentions or an understanding thereof. Instead, it has been argued that it is only through a process of shaping and ritualization that infants are able to engage in communication, and that they do not have or understand communicative intentions in terms of underlying mental agency. The papers in the current symposium report new research on this issue using sensitive measures of infants’ communicative behaviors and their understanding of others’ communicative intentions, and suggest early social-cognitive competence.
The symposium brings together new research on infant communication and underlying social-cognitive abilities in infants second year of life. Delgado addresses infants’ use of pointing for non-communicative purposes. Arguing for a dual role of pointing she demonstrates that infants, but also older children (at 3 and 5 years), point non-communicatively, presumably to support their own attention. To investigate the onset of communicative and non-communicative pointing she reports recent results of a longitudinal study with Montero. Liszkowski presents a study showing that pointing at 12 months already entails an understanding of others’ attention. In another study he investigates infants’ communicative behaviors as a function of others’ information states about a referent and shows that infants helpfully provide information for others. Tomasello’s recent results on infants’ understanding of non-linguistic gestures clarify that such understanding goes beyond an appreciation of informative cues and instead entails recognition of underlying communicative intentions. He argues that understanding the cooperative structure of communication is uniquely human and emerges early in human ontogeny. Saylor and Ganea’s work addresses a core feature of human communication— the understanding of reference to objects which are not present in the joint attentional scene. In two studies examining infants’ interpretation of ambiguous requests offered in absent reference contexts they provide evidence that infants in their second year have a firm grasp of others’ communicative intentions.
Taken together, this symposium highlights impressive communicative abilities in infants’ second year of life. These are inherently social-cooperative and reveal social-cognitive abilities. The presence of such social-cognitive abilities early in infancy might have been underestimated in classic research on Theory of Mind. The symposium might contribute to overcoming the developmental paradox of early communicative competence and late emergence of Theory of Mind.
Exploring the emergence and functions of pointing
Egido (Universidad Nacional de Educación
Infant communicative pointing and understanding of others’ psychological states
Ulf Liszkowski (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Understanding communicative intentions in the second year of life
Michael Tomasello (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Ambiguous requests: A window on absent reference understanding and the recognition of others’ intentions
Megan Saylor (Vanderbilt
9:00-10:30 Jr.D SY18 Symposium Session 18 – Filippova/Astington
Advances in social reasoning beyond the preschool years
Filippova (University of Toronto)
In everyday life, children frequently need to interpret complex social situations that require the ability to keep track of a person’s beliefs, intentions, or motivations about other people’s mental states. In the first paper, Janet Wilde Astington critically evaluates experimental tasks that have been designed to assess children’s ability to understand such multiply-recursive representations and interpretive diversity. She argues that these abilities underlie the advanced level perspective-taking that is required in sophisticated narrative production and in the interpretation of ironic situations and speech acts. Narrative and irony are then examined in the three empirical papers that illustrate different ways in which perspective-taking abilities develop beyond the preschool years. In the first report, Julie Comay shows that advanced perspective-taking plays a unique role in narrative development beyond a common link with language. The successful narrator has to represent the story characters’ mental perspectives within the story frame, as well as maintain an awareness of the listener’s perspective outside of the story frame. In the paper which follows, Mary J Thelander examines children’s ability to understand situations contradicting expectation, such as those that occur in situational irony. This requires the mental representation of increasingly complex events, along with a sophisticated understanding of the associated metacognitive changes in perspective. In the final report, Eva Filippova demonstrates that understanding non-literal speech acts, such as discourse irony, involves recursive perspectival understanding of intentions, motives, and attitudes towards others’ mental states. All three papers examine aspects of social reasoning that go beyond the understanding of false belief, some of which continue to develop past the age of 10 years. Taken together, the symposium emphasizes that important developments in social cognition continue into (and indeed beyond) middle childhood.
Beyond false belief: The development of social reasoning beyond the preschool years
Janet Wilde Astington (University of Toronto)
Further development in social reasoning revealed in narrative production
Julie Comay (University of Toronto)
Further development in social reasoning revealed in the interpretation of situational irony
Mary J Thelander (University of Toronto)
Further development in social reasoning revealed in discourse-irony understanding
Eva Filippova (University of Toronto)
10:45-12:00 PavCD PL05 Plenary Session 5 – Hobson
In the beginning is relation... and then what?
Peter Hobson (University College London)
Life begins with foundations for partly (but only partly) dissociable I-Thou and I-It relations. The challenge we face is to characterize the nature of such relations, and to elaborate an account of their progressive inter-coordination over the early years of life.
I shall explore the pivotal importance of infants’ capacities for being engaged with and ‘moved by’ other people’s bodily-expressed attitudes, and their resulting ability to share and co-ordinate experiences with others (also The Cradle of Thought, Macmillan, London, 2002 and OUP, New York, 2004). I shall emphasize that here we are dealing with relations that are emotional and cognitive and motivational, both in nature and developmental significance. Such relations are the underpinnings for much that is distinctively human in personal and intellectual life.
Especially through investigations of children and adolescents with autism - two concerning person-perception and personal relatedness, and two recent and as-yet unpublished studies of imitation - I shall illustrate the significance of the specifically human propensity to ‘identify with’ other persons. I shall argue that this special quality of interpersonal relatedness is critical for those forms of joint attention that involve sharing and/or co-ordinating attitudes, for the growth of self-other understanding (including but extending beyond so-called ‘theory of mind’), and for the emergence of creative symbolic functioning. Inspired by Piaget’s genetic epistemology, I shall offer some thoughts on distortions introduced by conventional ways of thinking about mental development.
Saturday, June 4, PM
12:00-1:30 TBA BOD Board of Directors Meeting
1:30-2:45 PavCD IS04 Invited Symposium 4 – Budwig (Sponsored by the Human Early Learning Partnership)
Communicative practices and social understanding
Organizer/Discussant: Nancy Budwig
It has become increasingly common to study the developmental unfolding of social understanding within the context of everyday interactions. Nevertheless there has been little systematic review of ways in which the study of communicative practices might shed light on the study of social understanding from a developmental perspective. This session will bring together leading scholars who examine communicative practices from the fields of sociology, linguistic anthropology, and narrative psychology. Each talk will examine constructs from these fields and illustrate ways they might productively contribute to developmental scholarship. Taken together, the session will highlight alternative ways to locate the study of human development in concrete, local, and interactive processes with a focus on the role of communicative practices in socialization processes. In addition, drawing on dynamic views of communicative practices, the session will suggest ways the notion of social understanding is best studied at both micro-genetic and ontogenetic levels.
Participation and co-construction of the moral order
Marjorie Harness Goodwin (UCLA)
Language as social action: Social reproduction in the New Guinea highlands and beyond
Alan Rumsey (Australian National University)
Positioning and its contributions to identity analyses
Michael Bamberg (Clark University)
1:30-2:45 PavB PS14 Paper Session 14
Mathematical & Spatial Reasoning II
Chair: Nira Granott
Action, perception, and the construction of number
Peter Gillette (University of California, Berkeley)
This presentation provides a brief review of new evidence to suggest that the construction of number concepts in young children is guided principally by the child’s action on the world, as opposed to innate, “core” principles. Evidence for this comes from experiments involving three paradigms: first, an interactive searchbox; second, a multiple-choice, marginally interactive measure; and third, a verbal evaluative, non-interactive measure. Children performed markedly better in all instances using the action measure. This recent empirical data will be presented together with a generalization of theory.
Evaluating ancient numeracy: Social versus developmental explanations of archaic Mesopotamian numeration
Stephen Chrisomalis (University of Toronto)
The most ancient literate and proto-literate societies of Mesopotamia (Uruk and Proto-Elamite) used a wide variety of numerical notation systems whose sign-values cannot be interpreted absolutely. On this basis, Peter Damerow and others believe that archaic Mesopotamians lacked an abstract number concept, and thus define a universal historical stage of archaic numeration between pre-operative and abstract number concepts. Yet there are several reasons for doubting this theory. Evidence is drawn from the social and functional context of the systems, comparison with Sumerian numeral words, and comparative data from other ancient civilizations. Multiple numerical notation systems help users to work with metrological systems and help distinguish different categories of counted quantities. There is insufficient evidence to support a strong thesis that numeration systems are evidence of non-abstract numerical concepts. Social explanations of this phenomenon are at least as convincing as stage-based developmental ones.
Following natural signs: Development of spatial tracking in large-scale and pictorial settings
Eugene Abravanel (The George Washington University)
In earlier research we asked whether 3-to-5 year-olds understood the potential of footprints as signifiers of a route taken by a hider in a large-scale environment, and whether they possessed the competence to use the footprints when searching. We found age-related changes in competence, as well as in the distribution of search strategies and biases that dominated performance at 3- and 4-years. In the present study we were interested in probing the previously revealed factors that influenced performance: comprehension of footprints as natural signs, attention to them across a discontinuous trail, and suppression of competing search strategies or biases. Accordingly, we compared performance in a large-scale setting and in pictorial settings, and significant improvements across ages were found in both. At 4- and 5-years competence was clearly greater when the problem was confronted in pictorial form. Therefore, interpretation of footprints as natural signs was better understood when the perceptual field was more easily unified and when temporal/spatial attentional demands were greatly reduced. Results provide a better parsing of the large-scale spatial search components that must be mastered in order to utilize footprints as natural signs.
Unintended consequences of purposeful actions: Historical change and individual activity in collective systems of number representation
B Saxe (UC Berkeley)
We sketch a framework for understanding reciprocal relations between the constructive activities of individuals and historical shifts in collective systems of number representation. As an illustrative case, we describe the shifting organization of the Oksapmin 27-body part counting system based upon fieldwork conducted in 1978, 1980, and 2001. The crux of the argument for the Oksapmin case is that that historical shifts emerge as the unintended consequences of communicative actions, and we illustrate the dynamics of this process as Oksapmin teachers are making efforts to respond to government mandates to link traditional practices with a Western-styled school curriculum. In this process, new features of the Oksapmin system are taking hold in the community keyed to novel numerical problems of everyday life, but the process of change is largely invisible to teachers, students, and community members.
1:30-2:45 Jr.B SY19 Symposium Session 19
The places of childhood in different social worlds: Brazilian studies
Vera M R de Vasconcellos (State University of Rio de Janeiro)
Childhood has lately come to the forefront of the news throughout the world, a central concern for academics as well governmental bodies. Accordingly, social scientists and psychologists have addressed developmental and educational issues concerning Latin American children, especially those from low SES (Social-Economic Status) and, at the 33rd JPS Meeting in 2003, researchers from Colombia and Brazil proposed a starting point for discussion. The current symposium proposal focusses on childhood in Brazil and presents a set of four studies carried out with children living in low social-economic conditions in different regions of the country, with the aim of addressing issues related to life aims, psychological development, education and learning processes. All studies aim at portraying these children’s views/perspectives as expressed, both in and out of the school context, through different means: drawings, story telling or in conversation with peers and adults. Vasconcellos & Coelho look at children, aged 7 to 12, from the biggest favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro, in order to study how they make use of and understand their surroundings in connection with places to play. Colinvaux & Maia’s study is carried out with older children in a nearby primary, state-funded, school located in Niterói; in the context of their geography lessons, around 30 children were asked to prepare a series of drawings and maps of their neighbourhood. Sperb & Smith look into the early educational context in a Porto Alegre school, with the aim of analysing how children, aged 4 to 5, construct narratives, and how their interlocutors react. Sodré asks children from a rural settlement in southern Bahia, aged 4 to 6, what are their views concerning the school they would like to have. In focussing children’s perspective as expressed by themselves in relatively unstructured contexts, the studies aim at addressing developmental and educational issues as they relate to the social and economic conditions of Latin-american childhood.
Free space to play in a “favela” of Rio de Janeiro
M R de Vasconcellos (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro)
My neighbourhood: Drawings, maps, geography lessons and the primary school context
Dominique Colinvaux (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
The space for narrative construction in the early educational context
Tânia Mara Sperb (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul)
Children of a rural development: A desire for a space to educate and play
Liana Gonçalves Pontes Sodré (Universidade estadual da Bahia)
1:30-2:45 Jr.C SY20 Symposium Session 20 – Suizzo
Transcending dichotomies: New approaches to conceptualizing social knowledge and action in and across cultures
Organizer: Marie-Anne Suizzo (University of Texas at Austin)
research on social knowledge and action, scholars are finding increasing
evidence to suggest that the Individualism-Collectivism (I-C) theoretical
model may oversimplify cultural differences through its dichotomization
of cultural categories. These findings call upon us to construct
more complex, flexible, and dynamic conceptual models to capture variations
within and across individuals, and within and across cultures. The
papers in this symposium offer various alternatives to meet this
Daphna Oyserman proposes a process model to understand the ways in which culture impacts children’s development and socialization. The impact of distal culture (e.g. religion, philosophy) on outcomes is mediated in part by internalized cultural values (e.g. social scripts) and by situated culture (e.g. social situations), but the most proximal mediator of culture’s influence is through the subjective construal of situations. This paper describes results from a set of meta-analyses of I-C studies, and discusses the impact of each orientation on basic psychological processes.
Michael Mascolo and Girishwar Misra propose that selves in all cultures exhibit both individuality and communality. In a study of adolescents and young adults in the USA and India, they explore how selves are represented relative to others, and how individuals cast others relative to self. Dimensions of agency, identity, motives, evaluations, qualia (feeling), and relational orientations are examined. While individual and communal dimensions of selfhood emerged in both samples, they found both similarities and differences in how self-facets were constructed and represented in relation to each other.
Marie-Anne Suizzo suggests taking an “emic,” indigenous perspective to identify native dimensions or cultural models associated with the broad human orientations toward independence and interdependence. The cultural models framework encompasses multiple, interconnected psychological structures -- ideologies, beliefs, practices, and goals -- that are measured across contexts and situations. Using this framework in cross-cultural and multi-ethnic studies of parenting, she demonstrates how the social knowledge and actions conveyed by a cultural community can be mapped to illuminate previous contradictory findings.
Always separate, always connected: Conceptualizing the interrelations between independence and interdependence in children’s developmental experiences
Catherine Raeff (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
A new look at culture
Daphna Oyserman (University of Michigan)
The co-representation of individual and communal dimensions of selfhood in India and the US
Michael F Mascolo (Merrimack College)
Using a cultural models framework to transcend apparent contradictions in parenting beliefs and practices
Marie-Anne Suizzo (University of Texas at Austin)
3:00-4:30 PavA PS15 Paper Session 15
Piagetian Theory II
Chair: Bryan Sokol (Simon Fraser University)
Reflecting abstraction in emotional and social development
Glenn E Good (Wayne State University)
While credited with momentous contributions to the understanding of cognitive development, Piaget is not perceived as contributing as significantly to the understanding of emotional and social development. His contributions to understanding social development are typically associated with his earlier studies. This paper will argue, however, that it is Piaget’s later theory of reflecting abstraction that has the power to enlighten our understanding of emotional and social development and change. This paper will look at social development and change by looking through the lens of reflecting abstraction at the change of self-object representations as observed in the clinical process of intensive psychotherapy. The paper will conclude with a clinical illustration.
How Piaget did not become the social psychologist he intended to become
Jacques Vonèche (Université de Genève)
This paper attempts to show that two successive turning points modified Piaget’s project of studying the socialization of children through language and thought considered as socializing symbolic functions so drastically that he became instead a student of logic and scientific enquiry in the child.
From epistemic subject to psychological subject: Using Piaget’s theory of reflecting abstraction to analyse the transformations in problem solving behaviour of individual subjects
Thomas Thiel (University of Potsdam)
This paper presents a theoretical and methodological concept for analysing transformations in individual cognitive processes based on Piaget’s general process theory (theory of equilibration and reflecting abstraction). Individual problem solving processes can be conceptualized in the same way as Piaget proposed for the so called “epistemic subject”: a progressive construction and differentiation of subject and object related knowledge. The individual subject will make progress in solving a problem if it is capable to reflect on his own actions (reflecting abstraction). The analysis of individual cognitive processes is conceptualized as equilibration process of the researcher on the equlibration process of the subject. Methodological prerequisite is a fixation of the problem solving behavior using video-technique. Only in this way a reliable basis for the reflection of the researcher on the actions of the subject is available. Furthermore it is shown that mother-child-interaction can be conceived as problem solving process as well and that reflecting abstraction plays an essential role in conducting positive interactions.
Reason: Jean Piaget unpublished papers 1979-80
Les Smith (Lancaster University)
Jean Piaget wrote three papers shortly before his death in 1980:
Report on work during 1978-79 (Piaget & Garcia,1991)
These papers were intended as a contribution to his 1979-80 research project, Reason, and are:
• incomplete due to their origin, and so his final writings
Under Piaget’s proposal, the formation of true knowledge is due to processes internal to its construction through reasoning, reasons and rationality.
3:00-4:30 PavB SY21 Symposium Session 21 – Vinden
Thinking outside the box: Diversity in understanding of mind
Organizer: Penelope G Vinden (Clark University)
In spite of some recent forays into individual differences in theory-of-mind development, the standard notion remains intact that understanding the connections between thoughts, emotion and behavior involves the universal acquisition of a theory of mind. The research presented here suggests that the child’s societal and cultural environment informs the interpretation of, as well as performance on, a variety of ToM tasks. Thus both the pathway and even the endpoint of development might vary from what has been seen to emerge in young, middle-class Anglo-European children. In addition, a strong view of social and cultural influence on development calls into question the notion of a universal positive influence of developing a theory of mind. The following papers attempt both to think outside the universalist box, and also to place thinking about thought outside the ‘box’ of isolated individual development.
The first paper examines Japanese children’s performance on an interpersonal false-belief task in addition to traditional theory-of-mind tasks, and includes an analysis of their justifications. While Japanese children appear to be delayed in developing an understanding of minds, their justifications revealed that they may be approaching the tasks in an entirely different manner than Western children do.
In the second paper, Aboriginal children and their non-Aboriginal peers are compared. Newer interpretive theory of mind tasks involving ambiguous pictures are added to a battery of social perspective-taking measures. Aboriginal children outperform their non-Aboriginal counterparts, but justify their answers quite differently, and in a manner that accords with a cultural emphasis on communal construction of knowledge.
A third paper looks at Hispanic children’s understanding of mind and its relationship to parenting style and the types of maternal requests occurring in mother-child interactions. Parents with some types of controlling attitudes tend to have children who do less well on ToM tasks, raising the question as to whether some cultural values may have unintended consequences for children. Frequent use of imperatives, however, which is viewed negatively in Anglo-American parenting, has a positive influence on socio-cognitive development.
A fourth paper explores the possibility that there are costs as well as benefits to understanding mental states and emotions in other people. Gender differences are found, with relatively high scores on higher-order theory-of-mind tasks being related to lower self-esteem among girls. Results are discussed in relation to gender socialization practices.
The development of false belief understanding in Japanese children: Delay or difference?
Mika Naito (Joetsu University of Education)
Canadian Aboriginal children’s theories of mind
Christopher E Lalonde (University of Victoria)
Parenting attitudes and parent talk – What predicts an understanding of mind for Hispanic children?
Ana María Carmiol (Clark University)
Gendered relations among ToM understanding, self-perceptions, and general vocabulary ability in Canadian girls and boys
Sandra Bosacki (Brock University)
3:00-4:30 Jr.B SY22 Symposium Session 22 – Sokol/Krettenauer
Conceptions of Moral Selfhood
Organizer: Bryan W Sokol (Simon Fraser University)
A long-standing debate in psychology
has been over how to best conceptualize matters of self- or person-hood. Traditionally,
this tension has been framed in James’ classic categories of the “subjective” and “objective” dimensions
of the self, or simply the “I” and the “Me.” More fundamentally,
however, this issue raises a number of serious questions, such as whether a substance
or process metaphysics should apply to the self, whether persons are best understood
in static or dynamic terms, whether a self should be viewed abstractly as an “epistemic
subject” or more situationally as an “embodied agent,” and,
finally, whether the boundaries of person- or self-hood are tightly constrained
and individualized or more fluid, and therefore, the basis of a “distributed
self.” The purpose of the present symposium is to explore how these various
issues surface within recent initiatives in moral psychology, and particularly,
research concerning the development of “moral selves.” The contributors
to this symposium will each present how these foundational matters impact their
approach to studying moral personhood and character development.
Daniel Lapsley (Ball State University)
Morality and the united self
M Kyle Matsuba (University of Northern British Columbia)
Character is dead. Long live character! Using contemporary psychology to reconstruct a fundamental concept in ethics and moral education
Roger Bergman (Creighton University)
The relation between children’s understanding of moral emotions and the formation of a moral self
Bryan W Sokol (Simon Fraser University)
3:00-4:30 Jr.C SY23 Symposium Session 23 – Gummerum/Warneken
Interactive minds: Understanding and integrating perspectives in cooperative activities
Organizer: Michaela Gummerum (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
Theoretical models in psychology have emphasized the social foundation of the mind and the role that social interactions play for cognitive development (Doise & Mugny, 1982; Tomasello, 1999) and the understanding of social relationships and norms (Turiel, 1983; Youniss, 1980). This symposium interconnects and broadens these views by introducing approaches from comparative psychology and economic game theory. We focus on how children learn to integrate differing perspectives in diverse domains of social interaction and how this will allow us to get a more comprehensive picture on how children’s’ engagement in cooperative action develops over the course of childhood – from toddlerhood to early adolescence.
Warneken and Tomasello investigated early forms of helping and cooperation in human children and chimpanzees. In the first study, 18-month-old children, and to some extent even chimpanzees, helped another person to achieve an individual goal. In the second study, children successfully coordinated their actions with a partner to achieve a shared goal and reengaged him when he refrained from participating. Chimpanzees were less coordinated and did not reengage the partner. This will be discussed in terms of a possibly species-unique adaptation for cooperation.
Rakoczy and Warneken studied an important prerequisite for conflict negotiation in cooperation: the understanding that people can have mutually incompatible desires. In four experiments with young 3-year-olds, they showed that children understand incompatible desires before they understand incompatible beliefs. Implications of this asymmetry for children’s engagement in different forms of cooperation, sharing and negotiation will be discussed.
Leman investigates the effects of gender on the social dynamics and outcomes of conversations in same-gender or mixed-gender groups in a collaborative problem-solving task. Does one child’s perspective dominate the conversation in terms of the final decision, or do children reach a compromise between their two competing perspectives? Results are discussed in relation to gendered styles of communication, the status dynamics arising from gender in social interaction, and in terms of work on the relationship between gender, social interaction and development.
Gummerum, Keller, Takezawa, and Wittig interconnect research in game theory, group decision-making, and the development of (pro-)social representations and actions in children. They explore how groups of three find a unanimous solution in a prosocial resource allocation situation, in which groups could either decide to maximize their own benefit or decide in favor of another group. Analyses focus on social norms and algorithms that are most likely to change others’ minds during the group discussion.
The emergence of altruism and cooperation: A comparison between young children and chimpanzees
Felix Warneken (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
The prerequisites for conflict negotiation: Three-year-olds understand that two cooperators can have mutually incompatible desires
Hannes Rakoczy (Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
To give or not to give: The decisions of groups in a prosocial situation
Gummerum (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
4:45-6:30 PavCD BOOK Book Discussion, Reflections, President’s Closing Remarks & Wine
Discussion of Jean Piaget’s Sociological Studies
(1977/1995), to be followed with reflections on the conference theme, Social
Life and Social Knowledge (and wine)
Facilitators: Richard Kitchener & Leslie Smith
The fundamental problem that Piaget addressed in the essays published as the Sociological Studies and that, as he tells us, plagued him for decades, concerns the question, “Do the operations by means of which we attain what rational consciousness calls truth depend on society, and, if so, in what sense?” (Piaget, 1977/1995, p. 184). In this session, we will discuss sections of Piaget’s Sociological studies (in particular, chapter 1) and evaluate the relevance of Piaget’s answers to conceptual issues in the context of current theories and empirical findings.
The discussion is scheduled as a plenary session so that everyone can gather after the final sessions of the day to reflect on the organizing themes and presentations that framed this year’s meeting. Please join us for wine, conversation, and farewells.