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

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

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

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

Grosse, G, Scott-Phillips, TC, and Tomasello, M. "Three-year-olds hide their communicative intentions in appropriate contexts." Developmental psychology 49.11 (November 2013): 2095-2101. Full Text Open Access Copy

Herrmann, E, Keupp, S, Hare, B, Vaish, A, and Tomasello, M. "Direct and indirect reputation formation in nonhuman great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens)." Journal of Comparative Psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) 127.1 (February 2013): 63-75. Full Text Open Access Copy

Tomasello, M, and Vaish, A. "Origins of Human Cooperation and Morality." Annual Review of Psychology 64.1 (January 3, 2013): 231-255. Full Text Open Access Copy

Herrmann, E, Hare, B, Cissewski, J, and Tomasello, M. "A comparison of temperament in nonhuman apes and human infants." Developmental Science 14.6 (2011): 1393-1405. Full Text Open Access Copy