Developing a Life History Theory of Mind: Awareness that the Mind Learns from the Past to Imagine the Future

Colloquium | October 30 | 12:10-1:20 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall

 Kristin H. Lagattuta, Department of Psychology and the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis

 Department of Psychology

Professor Lagattuta will provide an overview of her research on 4- to 10-year-olds' and adults’ beliefs about whether people generalize from their past social interactions when engaging in episodic future thinking; that is, their awareness that people’s minds draw from prior experiences when imagining what will happen next. Across multiple studies, results reveal significant age-related increases in expecting people’s future-oriented thoughts, emotions, and decisions to be biased by preceding life events, with 8- to 10-year-olds and adults presuming broader future generalizations compared to younger children. Professor Lagattuta will further discuss sources of individual differences, including using eye-tracking to examine variability in how children and adults weight different types of past event information.