Julian Jara-Ettinger, Associate Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, Yale University
Title: Minds tracking minds: The computational basis of human social intelligence
Abstract: Social cognition is fundamental to intelligence, supporting many uniquely human capacities including language, social learning, and moral reasoning. In this talk I will propose that human commonsense psychology is supported by a capacity to build models of other people’s real-time mental processes (i.e., not only their beliefs or desires, but their dynamic mental life including attention, reasoning, and memory). I will show that these representations of other people’s thinking enable us to work cooperatively with other minds and help explain a range of human behaviors in the domains of gesture and communication. I will present a computational framework of this proposal, and show how it helps explain inferences that we make in everyday social interactions.