“Maya Zuck Lectures in Child Development – Learning levels of explanation for human action”
Hosted by the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Abstract: Our ordinary intuitions about human behavior include the idea that single actions can have multiple plausible explanations, and multiple motivations. Why I sit down to a holiday meal with family, for example, could be because of hunger, because like especially like the food being served, because I like spending time with my family, or something to do with the holiday itself. But what is my true motivation? Often this latter question brings into focus a tension between two “levels” of explanation: on one hand, we have subjective, personal reasons for acting in certain ways, and on the other hand, we have interpersonal, or social reasons. In this talk I’ll discuss a series of studies showing how children learn which explanations are most likely, the role that trade-offs between personal and social motives plays in social evaluation, and how we as teachers contribute to creating explanatory biases that follow us from childhood to adult life.
Full schedule, Aging & Development Brown Bag Events
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