Infants use contextual contingency to guide their interpretation of others’ goal-directed behavior
Robson, Scott J.
Kuhlmeier, Valerie A.
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tTo examine the extent to which infants encode the context of agoal-directed action, nine-month-old infants were tested in threeseparate experiments using a visual habituation paradigm similarto that used by Woodward (1998). Experiment 1, necessary to sup-port methodology used in subsequent experiments, demonstratedthat infants can track the goals of others in a visual habituationparadigm even when a goal object changes position. Experiment2 examined the capacity of infants to make context-dependantjudgments regarding an actor’s two goal-directed actions (i.e., thatobject A would be grasped when paired with B, and B would begrasped when paired with C). Experiment 3 examined whetherinfants encode these contextually contingent goals in a linear order(e.g., A > B > C). Infants are able to use contextual information to cor-rectly encode the actions of others, yet no evidence was found forencoding this information in a linear order.