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In this free course, Infants' understanding of their social world, we draw on a wide range of psychological research to address the question of whether infants have a rich understanding of their social world. You will have the opportunity to read journal papers and newspaper articles as well as to engage with audio clips, and to explore your assumptions about infants' social understanding.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- define what psychologists mean by ‘rich’ understanding
- compare and contrast the different perspectives of psychologists who argue that infants have a rich understanding of their social world
- critically evaluate the role that the infant plays during infant–adult social interactions
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Observing infants and issues about interpreting these observations
- 2 Social abilities and relating to others
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Infants’ understanding of their social world
Researchers have long been interested in whether infants have a rich or poor understanding of their social world. Here, we consider just one side of this debate and draw on a wide range of research which argues that infants’ have a rich understanding. You will have the opportunity to read research articles which explore such issues as the degree to which infants contribute to social interactions, whether or not they are born communicators, and whether their relations with people emerge out of intimate social interaction. These readings are supported by audio clips of interviews with researchers. You will be given the opportunity to reflect upon the research and critique the findings and to think about your own views, based upon your own experiences of children you know.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University module.
This is a Masters-level course and you may find that some of the readings are challenging. We suggest that you carry out the audio-visual activities as these are intended to bring the readings to life.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 17th February 2016
Last updated on: Wednesday, 17th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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