Michael Tomasello received his PhD from the University of Georgia in 1980. He was a professor of psychology at Emory University from 1980 to 1998. Since 1998 he has been Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany. He will retire from that position in 2018, but in the meantime he has begun a professorship of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. His recent books include Origins of Human Communication (MIT Press, 2008); Why We Cooperate (MIT Press, 2009); A Natural History of Human Thinking (Harvard University Press, 2014), and A Natural History of Human Morality (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Research Interests

Michael Tomasello's major research interests are in psychological processes of social cognition, social learning, cooperation, and communication. Much of his research is comparative and developmental, especially comparing great apes' skills with those of human children at different ages. His current theoretical focus is on processes of shared intentionality and how they help to transform the great ape version of all of these social skills into the uniquely human version during ontogeny. His empirical research is mainly with great apes and with human children from 1 to 4 years of age.

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Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences