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ERIC Number: ED174361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Models of Complexity and Infant Attention.
Weizmann, Fredric; And Others
The primary purpose of this study was to examine whether a general perceptual model developed by Vitz and Todd (1971), capable of dealing with multiple determinants of attending, is useful for understanding infant attending. The model, previously used in research with adults, assumes that perception can be represented as a stochastic sampling process, and proposes that the total number of trials necessary to sample a figure is a measure of that figure's complexity. The relationships of age and sex to complexity preference were also explored. Three stimuli differing in complexity were presented to forty-one 8-, 10-, and 12-week-old infants, and total fixation times recorded. Overall, the infants fixated longer on the more complex stimuli; however, while preference for the most complex stimulus was clear for females at all ages, there were suggestions that males' preference for complexity increased gradually with age. In addition, overall fixation times declined with age for males but not for females. These results are interpreted as providing support for the utility of the Vitz and Todd model. Although the effects of complexity differed for males and females, as defined by the model, complexity did appear to play a role in mediating infant attention. Sex differences in development are discussed in terms of hypothesized differences in attending styles. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Stimulus Complexity; Vitz and Todd Perceptual Model
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)