Michael Tomasello

Michael Tomasello

Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
247 Soc Psych Bldg, Box 90086, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-8752


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.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of Georgia at Athens 1980

  • B.A., Duke University 1972

Köymen, B, and Tomasello, M. "Children's meta-talk in their collaborative decision making with peers." Journal of experimental child psychology 166 (February 2018): 549-566. Full Text Open Access Copy

Halina, M, Liebal, K, and Tomasello, M. "The goal of ape pointing." Plos One 13.4 (January 2018): e0195182-null. Full Text

Schmidt, MFH, Gonzalez-Cabrera, I, and Tomasello, M. "Children's developing metaethical judgments." Journal of experimental child psychology 164 (December 2017): 163-177. Full Text Open Access Copy

Engelmann, JM, Herrmann, E, and Tomasello, M. "Concern for Group Reputation Increases Prosociality in Young Children." Psychological science (November 2017): 956797617733830-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Hepach, R, Vaish, A, Müller, K, and Tomasello, M. "The relation between young children's physiological arousal and their motivation to help others." Neuropsychologia (October 10, 2017). Full Text Open Access Copy

Hepach, R, Kante, N, and Tomasello, M. "Toddlers Help a Peer." Child development 88.5 (September 2017): 1642-1652. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, M, and Gonzalez-Cabrera, I. "The Role of Ontogeny in the Evolution of Human Cooperation." Human nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.) 28.3 (September 2017): 274-288. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kano, F, Krupenye, C, Hirata, S, Call, J, and Tomasello, M. "Submentalizing Cannot Explain Belief-Based Action Anticipation in Apes." Trends in cognitive sciences 21.9 (September 2017): 633-634. (Letter) Full Text Open Access Copy

Grueneisen, S, Duguid, S, Saur, H, and Tomasello, M. "Children, chimpanzees, and bonobos adjust the visibility of their actions for cooperators and competitors." Scientific reports 7.1 (August 17, 2017): 8504-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Haux, L, Engelmann, JM, Herrmann, E, and Tomasello, M. "Do young children preferentially trust gossip or firsthand observation in choosing a collaborative partner?." Social Development 26.3 (August 2017): 466-474. Full Text Open Access Copy