Definition and Description
An experiment in which subject responses to purposeful (intentional) and unplanned (accidental) actions by an experimenter are measured as a means to identify whether an individual (human or nonhuman) understands the intentional actions of others. The intentional and accidental experiment is relevant to the topic of theory of mind, as it tests whether subjects understand intentional behaviors, one of the requisite components to understanding that others have thoughts and beliefs similar or separate to their own.
Two common variations of the accidental/intentional experiment use “accidental” and “intentional” actions of experimenters while indicating the location of rewards and “clumsy” and “competent” experimenters responsible for delivery of rewards. The basic premise of the experiment is that the subject must discriminate between the actions of the experimenter that will...
- Miles, H. L. (1986). How can I tell a lie? Apes, language and the problem of deception. In R. W. Mitchell & N. S. Thompson (Eds.), Deception: Perspectives on human and nonhuman deceit (pp. 245–266). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar