Michael Tomasello

James F. Bonk Professor

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

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

Engelmann, JM, Clift, JB, Herrmann, E, and Tomasello, M. "Social disappointment explains chimpanzees' behaviour in the inequity aversion task." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284.1861 (August 2017). Full Text

Hepach, R, Vaish, A, and Tomasello, M. "Children's Intrinsic Motivation to Provide Help Themselves After Accidentally Harming Others." Child development 88.4 (July 2017): 1251-1264. Full Text Open Access Copy

Schmelz, M, Grueneisen, S, Kabalak, A, Jost, J, and Tomasello, M. "Chimpanzees return favors at a personal cost." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114.28 (July 2017): 7462-7467. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kanngiesser, P, Köymen, B, and Tomasello, M. "Young children mostly keep, and expect others to keep, their promises." Journal of experimental child psychology 159 (July 2017): 140-158. Full Text Open Access Copy

Sánchez-Amaro, A, Duguid, S, Call, J, and Tomasello, M. "Chimpanzees, bonobos and children successfully coordinate in conflict situations." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284.1856 (June 2017). Full Text Open Access Copy

Hardecker, S, and Tomasello, M. "From imitation to implementation: How two- and three-year-old children learn to enforce social norms." British Journal of Developmental Psychology 35.2 (June 2017): 237-248. Full Text Open Access Copy

Rapp, DJ, Engelmann, JM, Herrmann, E, and Tomasello, M. "The impact of choice on young children’s prosocial motivation." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 158 (June 2017): 112-121. Full Text Open Access Copy