Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Behavioral and Brain Science 27: 1 (February 2004), pp. 126- 127. Copyright O 2004 Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


Relational experiences shape emergent social understanding and two influences deserve particular attention. First, parent-child conversation about shared experiences incorporates both implicit and explicit information about mental states that catalyzes the social construction of understanding, especially in juxtaposition with the child’s direct experience. Second, emotion infuses the contexts and cognitions about social experiences that provoke the child’s constructivist efforts.