ERIC Number: ED338377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Infant's Attention to Objects and Consistency in Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Contexts.
Echols, Catharine H.
Two studies tested the observation that infants learn to use a "whole object assumption" between the ages of 8 and 15 months, meaning that they expect a word to apply to the whole object to which it refers. The first study investigated the possibility that infants of 8 to 10 months may attend differently, and more selectively, to events that are named than to events that are not. The study also considered what exactly the infants' attention is drawn to. A habituation procedure, in which infants watched a researcher manipulating objects on a stage and a speaker spoke behind the stage, was used. In a 2 x 2 design, half the infants heard the object being labeled and half did not. Half also saw a consistent object undergoing three different motions as opposed to different objects undergoing the same motion. For both motion and objects, infants attended more to what was consistent than to what was not. A second study sought to determine whether this tendency was stronger in infants who were learning language at 13 to 15 months. It was found that the older infants looked longer at a novel object regardless of whether it was in the consistent motion or the consistent object condition, and regardless of whether it was labeled or unlabeled. Five references and six charts are appended. (SAK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Labeling (of Objects)
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).