Social Conventions, Learning of

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  • Humans are an inherently cultural species. From the very first days of life, children are enveloped by norms, activities, objects, and symbols that are often unique to their particular community. Crucially, although they may seem arbitrary, these cultural forms are shared and enforced by members of a community. In other words, they are social conventions. In order to function effectively in their respective communities, children need to learn these conventions. Recent developmental research reveals that, indeed, in their first years of life, children develop a nuanced assumption about which kinds of cultural forms are shared by others and who knows them. Moreover, research has also been uncovering the kinds of cues children rely on to derive this assumption. This work contributes to our understanding ...

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