Social knowledge in primates

Josep Call

in Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568308
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social knowledge in primates

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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Social knowledge emanates from psychological tradition and it has focused its attention on the individual as a unit of analysis rather than the group. This article focuses on the individual's knowledge about the psychological states of other individuals that govern their behaviour. David Premack and GuyWoodruff's seminal paper on whether the chimpanzee has a theory of mind sets the stage for this line of research by asking the question of whether chimpanzees attribute intentions to others in problem solving situations. Since then this orientation has extended its scope and included other psychological states such as perceptions, desires, knowledge, or beliefs. In the social world, both types of social knowledge are important. The article's focus is on theory-of-mind research or mindreading, or mental state attribution.

Keywords: social knowledge; individual; behaviour; David Premack; Guy Woodruff; chimpanzee; theory; mind; problem solving; mindreading

Article.  7440 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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