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Limits to Early Mental State Reasoning: Fourteen- to 15-Month-Old Infants Appreciate Whether Others Can See Objects, But Not Others’ Experiences of Objects

  • Author(s): Woo, Brandon Matthew;
  • Spelke, Elizabeth
  • et al.
Abstract

Research provides evidence that infants infer what others can and cannot see from their differing perspectives, but do infants appreciate that their own perspective on an object can differ from that of a person who views the same object from a different direction? First, infants were shown two faces with screens in front of or behind them. Infants correctly inferred that a face that was visible to them was occluded to a person sitting across from them. Then two experiments presented infants with two unscreened faces: one upright and one inverted. Infants attributed their own perspective on those faces to the other person: They did not appreciate that faces that were upright to them were inverted to the other person. Thus, infants appreciate that others may see things that they do not, but they fail to grasp not that others may experience the same visible objects differently than they do.

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