When we think of babies we think of them being cute, helpless, needy little human beings. Have you ever thought about what might be going on in those little minds of theirs? Alison Gopnik shares some great insight into the minds of babies.

Why you should listen

Alison Gopnik argues that babies have mind of their own, a mind far more complex than we give them credit for. In this talk, she discusses not only what babies and young children may be thinking, but different tests we can use to find out!

Who is she

Alison Gopnik is a psychology and philosophy professor at the University of California at Berkeley. She has written several books on cognitive development including The Philosophical Baby, and The Scientis in the Crib. Her focus is to give a greater understanding of how the human mind learns.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one thing that a baby could be thinking about?
  2. According to Gopnik. how do you ask babies what they think, since most are just barely walking and talking?
  3. What was difference between the responses from the 15 month-old and the 18 month-olds?
  4. Gopnik discusses a correlation between a long childhood and knowledge and learning, explain this correlation.
  5. Gopnik mentions that “the children are doing statistics,” what does she mean by this?
  6. Do you think that babies are more or less conscious than adults? Explain. 

What do babies think? With Alison Gopnik


1 Comment

  • Daniel

    Kate, I like the way you think. How would you guys feel about doing a 30 day challenge retelad to TWLC? Each month we can each pick something new (they could all be different), check-in with each other and stay accountable. I think you’re right Kate, it’s kind of like what you said in your blog today about starting off great and then oooh something shiny! . At least this way we can concentrate on ONE thing all month (drinking a certain amt of water, walking, daily vitamins, etc).What do you think?

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