This past weekend, Dr. Amanda Brandone, Wyntre Stout (graduate student), and Kelsey Moty (research associate/lab manager) from the Cognitive Development Lab traveled to New Orleans to present findings from one of our ongoing infant studies at the 20th Biennial Meeting of the International Congress on Infant Studies.
In the work presented, we were interested in why infants come to think about others as having goals and intentions that guide their actions (e.g., someone reaches for a ball because they intend to grab it). In particular, we examined what experiences contributes to infants’ understanding of intentions. We found that evidence that suggests that experience with crawling changes how infants are thinking about others as having intentions. Crawling experience may serve to facilitate this change by highlighting an infant’s own intentionality. That is, as an infant gains the ability to act on their goals via their own actions, they come to realize that others’ actions are driven by underlying goals.
We also found that parents who more greatly perceived their infants as having intentions and goals were more likely to have infants who understood the intentions and goals of others. Future work is looking at how differences in attitudes about their child’s own intentionality are shaping parents’ interactions with their infants.
For more information about this study, check our 2016 newsletter!