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    Human infants' learning of social structures: the case of dominance hierarchy

    Mascaro, O. and Csibra, Gergely (2014) Human infants' learning of social structures: the case of dominance hierarchy. Psychological Science 25 (1), pp. 250-255. ISSN 0956-7976.

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    We tested 15-month-olds’ capacity to represent social-dominance hierarchies with more than two agents. Our results showed that infants found it harder to memorize dominance relations that were presented in an order that hindered the incremental formation of a single structure (Study 1). These results suggest that infants attempt to build structures incrementally, relation by relation, thereby simplifying the complex problem of recognizing a social structure. Infants also found circular dominance structures harder to process than linear dominance structures (Study 2). These expectations about the shape of structures may facilitate learning. Our results suggest that infants attempt to represent social structures composed of social relations. They indicate that human infants go beyond learning about individual social partners and their respective relations and form hypotheses about how social groups are organized.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): social dominance, transitive reasoning, social relations, structure learning, naive sociology, cognitive development, social structure, social cognition, infant development
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergo Csibra
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 10:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:18


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