Joint attention

Wikis > Glossary > Joint attention

Joint attention refers to the ability to direct attention to the same object or activity as an interaction partner. This requires the individual to be able to interpret the actions of his partner as being directed toward something, to decipher where the attention is being directed, and to orient his own attention toward the same object or activity; thus joint attention requires the individual to be able to infer action goals in others (but not necessarily to have theory of mind capabilities). In this way, “joint attention creates a kind of ‘perceptual common ground’ in joint action, linking two minds to the same actualities” (Sebanz, Bekkering, & Knoblich, 2006, p. 70). Therefore, joint attention is an essential aspect of joint action.

Leah Latterner