Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Social evaluation in infants and toddlers  

Humans in every culture judge some actions and people as positive, others as negative. It is clearly beneficial to distinguish supportive and friendly individuals from harmful and malicious ones, and evolutionary biologists, comparative psychologists, and cultural anthropologists have argued that an ability to evaluate others is essential for navigating the social world. This project will explore the developmental origins of social evaluation; specifically, how infants and toddlers (a) understand and predict how other individuals evaluate social actions and the agents who perform them; and (b) form their own positive and negative attitudes towards agents based on the actions that they engage in. The study also explores the extent to which young children's social evaluations are explicitly available, using verbal judgments and choices of whom to reward or punish and explores how children's social evaluation of an individual influences their willingness to learn from that individual. Learning more about the nature and development of social evaluation will increase understanding of atypical development of these processes in, for example, individuals with autism and Asperger's syndrome. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $413,750.00
Current Award Period 2009-2014
Project Number 5R01MH081877-02
Principal Investigator Wynn, Karen
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Subcategory Symptomology
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1LB. Develop at least five measures of behavioral and/or biological heterogeneity in children or adults with ASD, beyond variation in intellectual disability, that clearly relate to etiology and risk, treatment response and/or outcome by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $71,100,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Yale University
State/Country Connecticut
Web Link 1 Social evaluation in infants and toddlers (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Social evaluation in infants and toddlers | $413,750.00 | 2009 | 1R01MH081877-01A2