Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Infants can read minds

  1. Aug 3, 2007 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2007 #2

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't think you would be so appalled if you had bothered to read the article and not just the title. Although, "mind reading" was probably not the best choice of words the authors could have used for describing this particular ability.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2007 #3
    I thought the same thing, Math is Hard, but it still seems that the method of experimentation is shoddy at best.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2007 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Did they consider that the infants might be more curious because they saw a human hand? Without giving any significance to the hand, perhaps it was just because there was more action in that particular cartoon?

    And whose mind are they reading? They're watching a cartoon.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2007 #5

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I believe all they are inferring from this experiment is that infants have some awareness that others (people, caterpillars,etc.) have internal mental states and processes, and previously they thought this didn't happen until much later. The dependent measure (look time) is pretty standard in development psych studies with infants. They also sometimes use rate of pacifier sucking as a measure. Tricky stuff, because infants can't verbally report, so researchers take a little bit of a leap of faith that this action actually measures interest. And I agree with you, Evo, the hand could certainly be a confound. There's no way to say how they controlled for that without reading the study.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2007 #6

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Reading the study would probably be better.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?