Infants' Sense of People: Precursors to a Theory of Mind

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Januar 2006



Drawing on a broad range of research and developmental theory and focusing on infants during their first year of life, Maria Legerstee asserts that they have an innate sense of people at birth, which is activated through sympathetic emotions. She questions the idea that infants use physical parameters such as contingencies or motion to distinguish people from objects, and rejects the assumption that infants are mechanical creatures before they become psychological ones. She argues persuasively that before infants learn to speak, interactions with others are possible because infants have a primitive pre-linguistic 'theory of mind'.


Preface; Introduction; 1. Definitions, theories and plan of the book; 2. Endogenous and exogenous influences in development; 3. Animate/inanimate distinction; 4. Self and consciousness; 5. Dyadic interactions; 6. Triadic interactions - joint engagement in 5 and 7 month-olds; 7. Social influences on the infant's developing sense of people; 8. The effects of affect mirroring on social and cognitive competence; 9. The quality of social interaction affects infants' primitive desire reasoning; 10. Social cognition - affect attunement, imitation and contingency.


Maria Legerstee is Professor of Psychology at York University, Toronto, where she established the Centre for Infancy Studies in 1991. She has published in journals of development psychology and child development.


'The book provides a valuable synthesis of current theoretical approaches and research on the roots of social and cognitive development in general, with a focus on children's Theory of Mind.' Pnina S. Klein, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
EAN: 9780521818483
ISBN: 0521818486
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2006
Seitenanzahl: 230 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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