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

Schmidt, MF, Svetlova, M, Johe, J, and Tomasello, M. "Children's developing understanding of legitimate reasons for allocating resources unequally." Cognitive Development 37 (January 2016): 42-52. Full Text Open Access Copy

Herrmann, E, Misch, A, Hernandez-Lloreda, V, and Tomasello, M. "Uniquely human self-control begins at school age." Developmental Science 18.6 (November 2015): 979-993. Full Text Open Access Copy

Schäfer, M, Haun, DBM, and Tomasello, M. "Fair Is Not Fair Everywhere." Psychological Science 26.8 (August 2015): 1252-1260. Full Text Open Access Copy

Karg, K, Schmelz, M, Call, J, and Tomasello, M. "The goggles experiment: can chimpanzees use self-experience to infer what a competitor can see?." Animal Behaviour 105 (July 2015): 211-221. Full Text Open Access Copy

Grueneisen, S, Wyman, E, and Tomasello, M. "Children use salience to solve coordination problems." Developmental Science 18.3 (May 2015): 495-501. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, M, Riedl, K, Jensen, K, Call, and, J. "Restorative justice in young children." Current Biology 25 (2015): 1-5. Open Access Copy

Grueneisen, S, Wyman, E, and Tomasello, M. "“I Know You Don't Know I Know…” Children Use Second-Order False-Belief Reasoning for Peer Coordination." Child Development 86.1 (January 2015): 287-293. Full Text Open Access Copy

Rossano, F, Fiedler, L, and Tomasello, M. "Preschoolers’ understanding of the role of communication and cooperation in establishing property rights." Developmental Psychology 51.2 (2015): 176-184. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, M. "The ultra-social animal." European Journal of Social Psychology 44.3 (April 2014): 187-194. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wobber, V, Herrmann, E, Hare, B, Wrangham, R, and Tomasello, M. "Differences in the early cognitive development of children and great apes." Developmental psychobiology 56.3 (April 2014): 547-573. Full Text Open Access Copy