Shaun O'Grady, Graduate Student UCB

April 3, 2017 • 12:00pm–1:30pm • 3105 Tolman

Developmental Psychology & IHD

The Development of Causal Reasoning in Adolescence

Adolescence is commonly thought to be a developmental period fraught with risky decisions, unbridled exploration, and blind rebellion.  However, recent theoretical views have argued that adolescence may be a critical period for learning about the world and this is thought to be especially true for social reasoning. We explore the view of adolescence as a period of heightened discovery and learning (Crone & Dahl, 2012) using the conceptual tools of the Bayesian approach to cognitive development.  Results from two experiments investigating causal reasoning in children, adolescents, and adults show that older teens are better than both younger children and adults at inferring the causes of others’ actions from covariation evidence yet they are strikingly worse at inferring the causes of physical events.