Shari Liu

Shari Liu
Harvard University | Harvard · Department of Psychology

A.B. in Psychology, Dartmouth College

About

14
Publications
1,884
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289
Citations

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
When human adults make decisions (e.g., wearing a seat belt), we often consider the negative consequences that would ensue if our actions were to fail, even if we have never experienced such a failure. Do the same considerations guide our understanding of other people's decisions? In this paper, we investigated whether adults, who have many years o...
Preprint
Does knowledge of other people’s minds grow from concrete experience to abstract concepts? Classic research from developmental science suggests that before infants reach for objects, they do not see others’ reaches as intentional. Here, we test an alternative hypothesis: that young infants view reaching as undertaken for a purpose, but they are ign...
Preprint
When human adults make decisions (e.g. wearing a seat-belt), we often consider the negative consequences that would ensue if our actions were to fail, even if we have never experienced such a failure. Do the same considerations guide our understanding of other people’s decisions? In this paper, we investigated whether adults, who have many years of...
Preprint
When people act on objects, their goals can depend on the objects’ intrinsic properties and conventional uses (e.g., using forks, not knives, to eat spaghetti), locations (e.g., clearing the table, regardless of what is on it), or both (eating with the fork next to your plate, not your dining partner’s). For adults, objects’ intrinsic properties ma...
Preprint
Full-text available
For machine agents to successfully interact with humans in real-world settings, they will need to develop an understanding of human mental life. Intuitive psychology, the ability to reason about hidden mental variables that drive observable actions, comes naturally to people: even pre-verbal infants can tell agents from objects, expecting agents to...
Preprint
Do infants appreciate that other people’s actions may fail, and that the possibility of failure endows risky actions with variable amounts of negative utility (hereafter, “peril”)? Three experiments addressed this question by presenting 10- and 13-month-old infants (N=124) with an agent who chose whether or not to jump over a trench of varying dept...
Article
We investigated the origins and interrelations of causal knowledge and knowledge of agency in 3-month-old infants, who cannot yet effect changes in the world by reaching for, grasping, and picking up objects. Across 5 experiments, n = 152 prereaching infants viewed object-directed reaches that varied in efficiency (following the shortest physically...
Preprint
We investigated the origins and interrelations of causal knowledge and knowledge of agency in 3-month-old infants, who cannot yet effect changes in the world by reaching for, grasping, and picking up objects. Across 5 experiments, N=152 prereaching infants viewed object-directed reaches that varied in efficiency (following the shortest physically p...
Article
Human prosocial behaviors are supported by early‐emerging psychological processes that detect and fulfill the needs of others. However, little is known about the mechanisms that enable children to deliver benefits to others at costs to the self, which requires weighing other‐regarding and self‐serving preferences. We used an intertemporal choice pa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human prosocial behaviors are supported by early-emerging psychological processes that detect and fulfill the needs of others. However, little is known about the mechanisms that enable children to deliver benefits to others at costs to the self, which requires weighing other-regarding and self-serving preferences. We used an intertemporal choice pa...
Article
Full-text available
Infants understand that people pursue goals, but how do they learn which goals people prefer? We tested whether infants solve this problem by inverting a mental model of action planning, trading off the costs of acting against the rewards actions bring. After seeing an agent attain two goals equally often at varying costs, infants expected the agen...
Preprint
Infants understand that people pursue goals, but how do they learn which goals people prefer? Here, we test whether infants solve this problem by inverting a mental model of action planning, trading off the costs of acting against the rewards actions bring. After seeing an agent attain two goals equally often at varying costs, infants expected the...
Article
Substantial evidence indicates that infants expect agents to move directly to their goals when no obstacles block their paths, but the representations that articulate this expectation and its robustness have not been characterized. Across three experiments (total N=60), 6-month-old infants responded to a novel, curvilinear action trajectory on the...
Article
Full-text available
Distance describes more than physical space: we speak of close friends and distant relatives, and of the near future and distant past. Did these ubiquitous spatial metaphors arise in language coincidentally or did they arise because they are rooted in a common neural computation? To address this question, we used statistical pattern recognition tec...

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