Entry Date:
January 13, 2009

Theory of Mind and Causal Learning

Principal Investigator Rebecca Saxe

The SaxeLab is interested in how social cognition might constrain learning. Much of causal knowledge is acquired through everyday experience and observation, rather than through explicit instruction. And understanding about other people's intentions, desires, and beliefs as reasons for actions may be one of the important factors that place weight on certain evidence we get. How exactly does this happen? Does having an explicit understanding of theory of mind change the way children interpret evidence? We are also interested in how 'understanding of abstract causality' and 'interpretation of other people's actions in terms of their beliefs, desires and motivations' might rely on common underlying mechanisms.