APA Article

Can you explain Rick, my link doesn’t work?

···

On Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 3:12 PM, D GOLDSTEIN davidmg@verizon.net wrote:

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014 4:33 PM, David Goldstein davidgoldsteinphd@gmail.com wrote:

Link http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/50/2/504.html

Sent from my iPhone


Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

                                               -- Bertrand Russell

[From Rick Marken (2014.02.26.1030)]

Hi Warren

WM: Can you explain Rick, my link doesn't work?

RM: Actually, I had thought that David sent it to me privately. Here's
a more detailed link; maybe this will work better:

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2013-21355-001

RM: In case it doesn't, here's the description of the article at the site:

A developmental study on children's capacity to ascribe goals and
intentions to others.
By Bello, Arianna; Sparaci, Laura; Stefanini, Silvia; Boria, Sonia;
Volterra, Virginia; Rizzolatti, Giacomo
Developmental Psychology, Vol 50(2), Feb 2014, 504-513.
Abstract
The capacity to ascribe goals and intentions to others is a
fundamental step in child cognitive development. The aim of the
present study was to assess the age at which these capabilities are
acquired in typically developing children. Two experiments were
carried out. In the first experiment, 4 groups of children (age range
= 3 years 2 months-7 years 11 months) were shown pictures representing
hand-object interactions and asked what the individual was doing (what
task) and why (why task). In the why task, observed handgrip could be
either congruent with the most typical action performed with that
object (e.g., to drink in the case of a mug) or corresponding to the
act of putting away the object. In the second experiment, children saw
pictures showing a handgrip either within a context suggesting the
most typical use of the object or its being put away. Results showed
that by 3-4 years, children are able to state the goal relatedness of
an observed motor act (what understanding), whereas the ability to
report the intention underlying it (why understanding) is a later and
gradual acquisition, reaching a high performance by 6-7 years. These
results, besides their intrinsic value, provide an important baseline
for comparisons with studies on developmental disorders, also
highlighting the relevance of distinguishing what and why
understanding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights
reserved)

RM: This is "Theory of Mind" (ToM) research, an area of study that I
stumbled upon a couple years ago and (as you know) was the basis of
one of my papers (that I managed to publish but not where I wanted).
ToM is the idea that people (and possibly other primates) have " the
capacity to ascribe goals and intentions" as a basis for understanding
the behavior of others. What's interesting about ToM researchers is
that they talk all about the importance of understanding behavior in
terms of intentionality (purposiveness) but never say what intentional
behavior is. That's where I thought PCT could help them out. But it
turns out the field of ToM research doesn't feel that it needs any
help; they don't see any problem because they are looking at it
completely in terms of how people (like the children in this study)
view behavior; they are not interested in the nature of the behavior
that is being viewed.

RM: So ToM gives researchers a chance to talk about goals and
intentions without having to deal with the question of how behavior
can be goal-oriented or intentional. Indeed, I suspect that ToM
researchers -- like most psychologists -- don't really believe that
there is such a thing as purposiveness or intentionality. They
probably think that behavior is caused and that it can be caused to
appear intentional. So ToM is a theory that views people's "ability"
to understand behavior in terms of intentions as kind of a "framework
for thinking" about behavior. ToM says that we learn to see certain
kinds of behavior as intentional and other kinds as unintentional as a
way of understanding behavior. The attitude of the ToM researchers
themselves seem to be something like: "yes, people make sense of
behavior in terms of intentionality and purpose even though we (the
ToM researchers) know (because we are scientists) that there is really
no such thing (as intentionality). At least, that was the attitude I
picked up from many of the reviews of my paper.

Best regards

Rick

···

On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 12:01 AM, Warren Mansell <wmansell@gmail.com> wrote:

--
Richard S. Marken PhD
www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
                                                   -- Bertrand Russell

Cheers Rick, for sure!

···

On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM, Richard Marken rsmarken@gmail.com wrote:

[From Rick Marken (2014.02.26.1030)]

On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 12:01 AM, Warren Mansell wmansell@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Warren

WM: Can you explain Rick, my link doesn’t work?

RM: Actually, I had thought that David sent it to me privately. Here’s

a more detailed link; maybe this will work better:

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2013-21355-001

RM: In case it doesn’t, here’s the description of the article at the site:

A developmental study on children’s capacity to ascribe goals and

intentions to others.

By Bello, Arianna; Sparaci, Laura; Stefanini, Silvia; Boria, Sonia;

Volterra, Virginia; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

Developmental Psychology, Vol 50(2), Feb 2014, 504-513.

Abstract

The capacity to ascribe goals and intentions to others is a

fundamental step in child cognitive development. The aim of the

present study was to assess the age at which these capabilities are

acquired in typically developing children. Two experiments were

carried out. In the first experiment, 4 groups of children (age range

= 3 years 2 months-7 years 11 months) were shown pictures representing

hand-object interactions and asked what the individual was doing (what

task) and why (why task). In the why task, observed handgrip could be

either congruent with the most typical action performed with that

object (e.g., to drink in the case of a mug) or corresponding to the

act of putting away the object. In the second experiment, children saw

pictures showing a handgrip either within a context suggesting the

most typical use of the object or its being put away. Results showed

that by 3-4 years, children are able to state the goal relatedness of

an observed motor act (what understanding), whereas the ability to

report the intention underlying it (why understanding) is a later and

gradual acquisition, reaching a high performance by 6-7 years. These

results, besides their intrinsic value, provide an important baseline

for comparisons with studies on developmental disorders, also

highlighting the relevance of distinguishing what and why

understanding. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights

reserved)

RM: This is “Theory of Mind” (ToM) research, an area of study that I

stumbled upon a couple years ago and (as you know) was the basis of

one of my papers (that I managed to publish but not where I wanted).

ToM is the idea that people (and possibly other primates) have " the

capacity to ascribe goals and intentions" as a basis for understanding

the behavior of others. What’s interesting about ToM researchers is

that they talk all about the importance of understanding behavior in

terms of intentionality (purposiveness) but never say what intentional

behavior is. That’s where I thought PCT could help them out. But it

turns out the field of ToM research doesn’t feel that it needs any

help; they don’t see any problem because they are looking at it

completely in terms of how people (like the children in this study)

view behavior; they are not interested in the nature of the behavior

that is being viewed.

RM: So ToM gives researchers a chance to talk about goals and

intentions without having to deal with the question of how behavior

can be goal-oriented or intentional. Indeed, I suspect that ToM

researchers – like most psychologists – don’t really believe that

there is such a thing as purposiveness or intentionality. They

probably think that behavior is caused and that it can be caused to

appear intentional. So ToM is a theory that views people’s “ability”

to understand behavior in terms of intentions as kind of a "framework

for thinking" about behavior. ToM says that we learn to see certain

kinds of behavior as intentional and other kinds as unintentional as a

way of understanding behavior. The attitude of the ToM researchers

themselves seem to be something like: "yes, people make sense of

behavior in terms of intentionality and purpose even though we (the

ToM researchers) know (because we are scientists) that there is really

no such thing (as intentionality). At least, that was the attitude I

picked up from many of the reviews of my paper.

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken PhD

www.mindreadings.com

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.

                                               -- Bertrand Russell


Dr Warren Mansell
Reader in Psychology
Cognitive Behavioural Therapist & Chartered Clinical Psychologist
School of Psychological Sciences

Coupland I
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: warren.mansell@manchester.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8589

Website: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/staff/131406

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