ERIC Number: ED225664
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Who Gets More Attention When an Adult Plays with Two 7-Month-Old Infants?
Hildebrandt, Katherine A.
Focusing on infants' physical attractiveness and behavior, this study explores reasons some infants receive greater amounts and different types of attention from adults than do others. Subjects were observed in 21 groups of three, consisting of one adult and two same-sex infants. Adult subjects were unmarried, childless undergraduate women interested in child care careers. Infant pairs brought to and left in a laboratory playroom were joined by an adult subject instructed to sit on the floor and play with the infants as she might if they were under her care. Recorded on videotape, the first 9 minutes of each play session were coded and analyzed for infant vocalization, infant activity, and adult touching and holding of the infants. Additionally, three assistants recorded the looking and smiling behaviors of each subject. Adult subjects completed a questionnaire concerning their perceptions of each infant, mothers completed a demographic questionnaire, and infants were photographed. Photographs were rated by two groups of college students, one group selecting which of two infants was "cuter," another rating each photograph separately on a nine-point scale of cuteness. In general, results indicate that infant behaviors (i.e., fussing, crying, smiling) are more salient than cuteness in eliciting adults' attention, although it is likely that adults' perceptions of cuteness influence their perceptions of behaviors. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Multiple Measures Approach; Physical Attractiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 15-18, 1982).