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

Tomasello, M., et al. “Five primate species follow the visual gaze of conspecifics.” Animal Behaviour, vol. 55, no. 4, Jan. 1998, pp. 1063–69. Scopus, doi:10.1006/anbe.1997.0636. Full Text

Vogelsang, Martina, and Michael Tomasello. “Giving Is Nicer than Taking: Preschoolers Reciprocate Based on the Social Intentions of the Distributor.” Plos One, vol. 11, no. 1, Public Library of Science (PLoS), pp. e0147539–e0147539. Crossref, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147539. Full Text Open Access Copy

Rossano, Federico, et al. “Preschoolers’ understanding of the role of communication and cooperation in establishing property rights.Developmental Psychology, vol. 51, no. 2, American Psychological Association (APA), pp. 176–84. Crossref, doi:10.1037/a0038493. Full Text Open Access Copy