|Title||Dangerous Ground: One-Year-Old Infants are Sensitive to Peril in Other Agents’ Action PlansAbstract|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Liu, S, Pepe, B, Kumar, MGanesh, Ullman, TD, Tenenbaum, JB, Spelke, ES|
|Pagination||211 - 231|
|Keywords||action understanding, agency, cognitive development, infancy, open data, open materials, pre-registered|
Do infants appreciate that other people’s actions may fail, and that these failures endow risky actions with varying degrees of negative utility (i.e., danger)? Three experiments, including a pre-registered replication, addressed this question by presenting 12- to 15-month-old infants (N = 104, 52 female, majority White) with an animated agent who jumped over trenches of varying depth towards its goals. Infants expected the agent to minimize the danger of its actions, and they learned which goal the agent preferred by observing how much danger it risked to reach each goal, even though the agent’s actions were physically identical and never failed. When we tested younger, 10-month-old infants (N = 102, 52 female, majority White) in a fourth experiment, they did not succeed consistently on the same tasks. These findings provide evidence that one-year-old infants use the height that other agents could fall from in order to explain and predict those agents’ actions.
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