Rich interpretation vs. deflationary accounts in cognitive development: the case of means-end skills in 7-month-old infants. Journal Article uri icon



  • Seven-month-old infants appear to learn means-end skills, such as pushing a button to retrieve a distant toy (Psychological Review 104 (1997) 686). The present studies tested whether such apparent means-end behaviors are genuine, or simply the repetition of trained behaviors under conditions of greatest arousal, as suggested by a dynamic systems reinterpretation. When infants were trained to repeat behaviors that did not serve as means to retrieving toys (pushing a button to light a set of distant lights), their button-pushing differed significantly from infants for whom button-pushing served as a means for retrieving toys. Further, infants demonstrated means-end skills with behaviors that they had not been trained to repeat. Implications for early means-end abilities and for debates surrounding the interpretation of infant behavior are discussed.

publication date

  • April 1, 2002

has subject area

Full Author List

  • Munakata Y; Bauer D; Stackhouse T; Landgraf L; Huddleston J

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • B43

end page

  • B53


  • 83


  • 3