Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello

James F. Bonk Professor

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Georgia at Athens 1980

  • B.A., Duke University 1972


Major research interests in processes of social cognition, social learning, cooperation, and communication from developmental, comparative, and cultural perspectives. Current theoretical focus on processes of shared intentionality. Empirical research mainly with human children from 1 to 4 years of age and great apes.


Children, great apes, social cognition, communication, cooperation, social learning

Melis, AP, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Chimpanzees coordinate in a negotiation game." Evolution and Human Behavior 30.6 (2009): 381-392. Full Text

Wobber, V, Hare, B, Koler-Matznick, J, Wrangham, R, and Tomasello, M. "Breed differences in domestic dogs' (Canis familiaris) comprehension of human communicative signals." Interaction Studies 10.2 (2009): 206-224. Full Text

Herrmann, E, Call, J, Hernandez-Lloreda, MV, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Comparing social skills of children and apes - Response." SCIENCE 319.5863 (February 1, 2008): 570-570.

Melis, AP, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Do chimpanzees reciprocate received favours?." Animal Behaviour 76.3 (2008): 951-962. Full Text

Herrmann, E, Call, J, Hernández-Lloreda, MV, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Response [3]." Science 319.5863 (2008): 569--.

Herrmann, E, Call, J, Hernández-Lloreda, MV, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Humans have evolved specialized skills of social cognition: The cultural intelligence hypothesis." Science 317.5843 (2007): 1360-1366. Full Text

Warneken, F, Hare, B, Melis, AP, Hanus, D, and Tomasello, M. "Spontaneous altruism by chimpanzees and young children." PLoS biology 5.7 (2007): e184-. Full Text

Tomasello, M, Hare, B, Lehmann, H, and Call, J. "Reliance on head versus eyes in the gaze following of great apes and human infants: the cooperative eye hypothesis." Journal of Human Evolution 52.3 (2007): 314-320. Full Text

Jensen, K, Hare, B, Call, J, and Tomasello, M. "What's in it for me? Self-regard precludes altruism and spite in chimpanzees." Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society 273.1589 (2006): 1013-1021. Full Text

Melis, AP, Hare, B, and Tomasello, M. "Engineering cooperation in chimpanzees: tolerance constraints on cooperation." Animal Behaviour 72.2 (2006): 275-286. Full Text