Time and sequence as key developmental dimensions of joint action

Fantasia, Valentina and Delafield-Butt, Jonathan (2023) Time and sequence as key developmental dimensions of joint action. Developmental Review, 69. 101091. ISSN 0273-2297 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2023.101091)

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Joint action, generally defined as working together towards a common purpose, has become an important concept in many areas of cognitive science, from philosophical appraisal of its core concepts to empirical mapping of its psychological development. Within mainstream cognitive accounts, to engage in a joint action requires an inferential process of representing the other’s intentions and plans to enable social coordination for a shared goal. However, growing endorsement of a contrasting view from embodied and situated accounts of social cognition proposes that joint action is better understood as a dynamic, situated interactional process where participants "roll into" joint action without requiring reflective or representational awareness of it. This work proposes a rethinking of how we conceive the nature of action and its development as joint action early in human life. With particular reference to developmental studies, we advance a rationale for the conceptual framework of joint action to include its temporal and sequential structures, and their intrinsic prospective qualities of human action, solitary or shared, as key analytical aspects for the study of how infants understand and share meaning with another, in joint interaction.


Fantasia, Valentina and Delafield-Butt, Jonathan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8881-8821;