Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello

James F. Bonk Distinguished 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

Karg, Katja, et al. “The goggles experiment: can chimpanzees use self-experience to infer what a competitor can see?Animal Behaviour, vol. 105, Elsevier BV, July 2015, pp. 211–21. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.04.028. Full Text Open Access Copy

Grueneisen, Sebastian, et al. “Children use salience to solve coordination problems.” Developmental Science, vol. 18, no. 3, Wiley, May 2015, pp. 495–501. Crossref, doi:10.1111/desc.12224. Full Text Open Access Copy

Grueneisen, Sebastian, et al. ““I Know You Don't Know I Know…” Children Use Second-Order False-Belief Reasoning for Peer Coordination.” Child Development, vol. 86, no. 1, Wiley, Jan. 2015, pp. 287–93. Crossref, doi:10.1111/cdev.12264. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, M., et al. “Restorative justice in young children.” Current Biology, vol. 25, 2015, pp. 1–5. Open Access Copy

Tomasello, Michael. “The ultra-social animal.” European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 44, no. 3, Wiley, Apr. 2014, pp. 187–94. Crossref, doi:10.1002/ejsp.2015. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wobber, Victoria, et al. “Differences in the early cognitive development of children and great apes.Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 56, no. 3, Apr. 2014, pp. 547–73. Epmc, doi:10.1002/dev.21125. Full Text Open Access Copy

Grosse, Gerlind, et al. “Three-year-olds hide their communicative intentions in appropriate contexts.Developmental Psychology, vol. 49, no. 11, Nov. 2013, pp. 2095–101. Epmc, doi:10.1037/a0032017. Full Text Open Access Copy

Herrmann, Esther, et al. “Direct and indirect reputation formation in nonhuman great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens).Journal of Comparative Psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983), vol. 127, no. 1, Feb. 2013, pp. 63–75. Epmc, doi:10.1037/a0028929. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, Michael, and Amrisha Vaish. “Origins of Human Cooperation and Morality.” Annual Review of Psychology, vol. 64, no. 1, Annual Reviews, Jan. 2013, pp. 231–55. Crossref, doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143812. Full Text Open Access Copy

Herrmann, Esther, et al. “A comparison of temperament in nonhuman apes and human infants.Developmental Science, vol. 14, no. 6, Nov. 2011, pp. 1393–405. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01082.x. Full Text Open Access Copy