The Minds Lab at the University of Montana

Welcome to The Minds Lab

At The Minds Lab, we study how children think about others’ minds and internal states. We are particularly interested in how children extend minds and internal states to inanimate nature and technologies, such as rocks and robots -- and the consequences of doing so. How does their conception of others’ minds inform their learning (for example, determining who might be a good source of knowledge) and their moral judgments (for example, determining whether one has moral standing or can be held morally accountable)?

We examine these questions developmentally (from preschoolers to early adolescence, as well as adults) and cross-culturally. Our research tasks are child-friendly – involving games, play, and questions – which both children and their observing parents find enjoyable!

boy with 2 dinosaur robots