ECCLlogo The Early Childhood Cognition Lab
at the University of Washington
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As adults, we are adept at explaining and understanding the behavior of others around us. Critical to this process is our ability to think about our own and other people's actions as guided or motivated by goals or intentions. For instance, upon seeing a woman reach toward a cookie jar, we go beyond focusing on the surface properties of the act (e.g., the speed and trajectory of the woman's reach) to interpret this action as directed toward the goal of obtaining a cookie. Our tendency to view action as motivated by goals is a powerful tool in our ability to navigate our social environment. It enables us to monitor and modify our own behavior, to predict the outcome of the actions of others, and to both teach and learn a variety of activities and skills. At the ECCL, we are interested in exploring the origins of the ability to represent human action in terms of goals and intentions. We do this by inviting infants and children (accompanied by their parents) to play age-appropriate and child-friendly games with us.

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