Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Speaker: Joshua Hartshorne, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Boston College
Host: Dr. Ev Fedorenko, Dr. Frederik Kamps
Abstract: There is broad agreement that humans are equipped with domain-specific social reasoning abilities — abilities that vary independent of general intelligence. There is similarly broad agreement that these abilities play a key role in language understanding, particularly with respect to pragmatics. The evidence for the first proposal is largely anecdotal; the evidence for the latter, mostly theoretical. In both cases, the empirical evidence is remarkably thin. I describe a decade of (so far unpublished!) studies testing the two propositions. On the surface, the evidence thus far is mixed with respect to the first proposal and decidedly against the second. I argue that this suggests a rethinking of the role social reasoning plays in real-time behavior.
Recently published work:
* Chen, T., & Hartshorne, J. K. (2021). More evidence from over 1.1 million subjects that the critical period for syntax closes in late adolescence. Cognition, 214, 104706.
* Hartshorne, Joshua K. (2020). How massive online experiments (MOEs) can illuminate critical and sensitive periods in development. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.
* Hartshorne, J. K., Huang, Y. T., Lucio Paredes, P. M., Oppenheimer, K., Robbins, P. T., & Velasco, M. D. (2021). Screen time as an index of family distress. Current Research in Behavioral Sciences, 2, 100023.