"Social sciences have long stressed the importance of the capacity to represent social relationships. This project will focus on the early ontogeny of this capacity. Infants' understanding of two basic types of relationships, affiliation and dominance, will be studied. The continuities between infants' and adults' intuitions about social relationships will also be assessed. These investigations will involve a combination of behavioural and eye tracking measures.
The project will be carried out in the Cognitive Development Center of the Central European University. During the completion of the project, its coordinator, who already has expertise in the study of preschoolers’ social cognition, will learn how to study pre-verbal infants. In addition, the project will have several scientific outcomes of general interest. It will contribute to developmental psychology, by providing data in an area of research that has received little attention. By focusing on pre-linguistic infants, it will provide insights on the phylogeny of social relationships understanding. It will also contribute to determine the building blocks of human naïve sociology, a topic of importance for social sciences as a whole."
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