Sensitivity to Ostension is Not Sufficient for Pedagogical Reasoning by Toddlers

Emma C. Tecwyn, Amanda M. Seed, Daphna Buchsbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the role of ostensive cues in pedagogical reasoning, we explored whether toddlers, like preschoolers, would copy causally implausible actions following a pedagogical demonstration. Toddlers watched a demonstrator perform a two-action sequence (AB) on a puzzle-box that led to a reward. We manipulated the demonstrator's intentionality and the causal plausibility of action A and examined how these factors influenced copying behavior. Although toddlers were more likely to copy A when it was causally plausible, they were not influenced by the demonstrator's intentionality. Importantly, toddlers were no more likely to copy the AB sequence following a pedagogical demonstration vs. a non-communicative demonstration. Comparing behavioural data to computational model predictions for learners differing in their sensitivity to intentionality and causal plausibility supported an absence of pedagogical reasoning. These results suggest that sensitivity to ostension may be a necessary prerequisite-but is not sufficient for-pedagogical reasoning in a causal imitation task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages2670-2676
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Developing a Mind: Learning in Humans, Animals, and Machines, CogSci 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20201 Aug 2020

Conference

Conference42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Developing a Mind: Learning in Humans, Animals, and Machines, CogSci 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period29/07/201/08/20

Keywords

  • causal reasoning
  • cognitive development
  • ostension
  • overimitation
  • pedagogy
  • social learning

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