We will examine studies examining three topics (time, causality and theory of mind) in three different participant groups (children, adults, and non-human animals). Our aim will be an integration of evidence across these groups to address what it is to understand these topics.
Topics covered may include:
- Development of thinking about time
- Non-human animals’ understanding of time
- Heuristics and biases in human adults’ thinking about time
- Children’s thinking about causality
- Folk physics in non-human animals
- Adults’ thinking and reasoning about causes
- Development of theory of mind
- Theory of mind in non-human animals
- Theory of mind in human adults
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe empirical evidence about the nature of higher cognitive functions (time, causality, theory of mind) in children, adults and non-human animals.
- Critically evaluate the methods used with different participant groups.
- For each topic evaluate the developmental and evolutionary relationships suggested by the evidence.
- Integrate evidence from children, adults and non-human animals to evaluate what it means to `understand' time, causality and theory of mind.
- Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge concerning cognitive function in humans and other animals.
- Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of cognitive function by synthesising a well reasoned argument based on their own knowledge of the topic.