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dc.contributor.authorCivelek, Zeynep
dc.contributor.authorCall, Josep
dc.contributor.authorSeed, Amanda
dc.identifier.citationCivelek , Z , Call , J & Seed , A 2020 , ' Inferring unseen causes : developmental and evolutionary origins ' , Frontiers in Psychology , vol. 11 , 872 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 267665672
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 5a0ed4c0-359b-4cf2-945a-14b348b4d2de
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-3867-3003/work/73700832
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8597-8336/work/73701588
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85085166829
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000536695900001
dc.descriptionThis project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement No. 639072).en
dc.description.abstractHuman adults can infer unseen causes because they represent the events around them in terms of their underlying causal mechanisms. It has been argued that young preschoolers can also make causal inferences from an early age, but whether or not nonhuman apes can go beyond associative learning when exploiting causality is controversial. However, much of the developmental research to date has focused on fully-perceivable causal relations or highlighted the existence of a causal relationship verbally and these were found to scaffold young children’s abilities. We examined inferences about unseen causes in children and chimpanzees in the absence of linguistic cues. Children (N=129, aged 3-6 years) and zoo-living chimpanzees (N=11, aged 7-41 years) were presented with an event in which a reward was dropped through an opaque forked-tube into one of two cups. An auditory cue signaled which of the cups contained the reward. In the causal condition, the cue followed the dropping event, making it plausible that the sound was caused by the reward falling into the cup; and in the arbitrary condition, the cue preceded the dropping event, making the relation arbitrary. By 4-years of age, children performed better in the causal condition than the arbitrary one, suggesting that they engaged in reasoning. A follow-up experiment ruled out a simpler associative learning explanation. Chimpanzees and 3-year-olds performed at chance in both conditions. These groups’ performance did not improve in a simplified version of the task involving shaken boxes; however, the use of causal language helped 3-year-olds. The failure of chimpanzees could reflect limitations in reasoning about unseen causes or a more general difficulty with auditory discrimination learning.
dc.relation.ispartofFrontiers in Psychologyen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2020 Civelek, Call and Seed. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.en
dc.subjectCausal reasoningen
dc.subjectHidden causesen
dc.subjectTemporal orderen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.titleInferring unseen causes : developmental and evolutionary originsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.‘Living Links to Human Evolution’ Research Centreen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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