PMID: 7809587Dec 1, 1994Paper

Infant intentionality as object directedness: a method for observation

Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
D Vedeler


It is argued that a definition of intentionality in terms of object directedness is more adequate than the traditional definition in terms of goal directedness. Inconsistencies in the use of "intentionality" among infant researchers are pointed out. A method of observation is explored, based on the definition in terms of behavioral object directedness, that takes into account precursors to fully-fledged intentional actions by approaching intentionality as a matter of degree rather than as an all or none issue. The method, when used on longitudinal video recordings of parent-infant interaction, produced results that substantiated Trevarthen's observations of infant intentionality before the age of six months. Furthermore, the results suggest that the parent's attribution of intentions to the infant is based on the perception of the infant's intentionality, whether in social interaction or in interaction with "physical" objects.


Jan 1, 1987·Brain, Behavior and Evolution·J Stuchbery, D Ehrlich
May 1, 1971·Acta Endocrinologica·P PetruszD J Finney
Jan 1, 1983·Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines·B Hopkins
Jan 1, 1982·Human Development·C G Harding

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Dec 3, 1998·Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development·G Butterworth

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