The Forager Folklore Sample (FFS)
Successful exploitation of the foraging niche requires extensive, specialized knowledge, much of which is acquired through social learning. Research indicates that the oral tradition serves as a vector for information relevant to many recurrent problems of forager existence. The aim of this project is to develop and deploy a random stratified sample of forager folklore collections to test hypotheses regarding the kinds of information humans are designed to acquire through social learning.
Representation of Mind
Character is a fundamental component of narrative: stories are about human beings (or agents with a human psychology). Thus, narrative is a behavior involving the generation of representations of the human mind. It follows that narrative comprehension and production require theory of mind-the ability to attribute mental states to conspecifics and to understand behavior in terms of mental states. Mind reading is not reducible to one capacity; it is best envisioned as a suite of integrated mechanisms, each of which has its own developmental onset. This project examines narratives elicited from preschool and grade school children to identify distinct mind reading mechanisms and test hypotheses regarding their developmental trajectories.