Psychological Relations and Their Diversity

We have already seen how the observation of psychological relations of both self and other yield particular and distinct forms of information even when self and other are engaged in the same psychological relation. Often, however, different people have different psychological relations to the same object. An important aspect of commonsense psychology is the understanding that psychological relations may differ across people even in the same context. Even if I fully understand that you and I are...

The Language Of Commonsense Psychology

The language of commonsense psychology begins almost as soon as language itself. Inge Bretherton, and her colleagues (Bretherton, McNew, & Beeghly-Smith, 1981) found that 30 of a sample of 20-month-old children were already using some words referring to internal states, most commonly words referring to physiological states such as tiredness and pain, but also words referring to emotional states such as distress, disgust, and affection. Bretherton and Beeghly (1982) asked the mothers of these...

Domain Specificity And Domain Generality

Before elaborating further on these issues, I address the issue of how commonsense psychology may be connected to other domains of knowledge during development. The field of developmental psychology is divided on the extent to which different aspects of conceptual development occur together. Some authors argue that conceptual knowledge is divided into a number of independent or core domains and that development proceeds essentially separately in these domains (e.g., Spelke, 2000). For example,...

Monitoring The Self

So far the findings we have considered relate to young infants' attention to, and perception of, information originating from others, or what I termed in chapter 2 third-person information. In other words, it is all information that is available to any observer of another person. Even in the early months of life, infants are also exposed to information about the self and their own activity. Some of this first-person information is completely private or exclusively available to infants as...

From Social Interaction to Social Relationships

By approximately 2 months of age the kinds of social acts reviewed in chapter 4 have become well enough established that infants can participate in social interactions. In early development, social interactions may be defined as sequences of social acts performed by the infant and an interactive partner that are contingently structured. As such they involve the two participants acting socially in response to the social acts of the other. The sequences need not be very long or very smooth...