ERIC Number: ED078897
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Semantic Development in Infants: The Concepts of Agent and Recipient.
Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick
Cognitive categories in infants that have relevance for linguistic development were investigated. "Agent" and "recipient," the categories chosen, are relational categories which by definition involve action. This experiment explored infants' (48 males, 14-24 months of age) sensitivity to certain "action parameters" of events. The question of whether infants could perceive the difference between agents and recipients was operationalized by comparing infants' visual fixation times to different experimental events presented on two color, silent motion picture films. These events were constructed to be more or less discrepant from an additional standard event appropriate to the content of each film. The different experimental events in the two films were presented sequentially in the habituation paradigm. The agent-recipient dichotomy was contrasted by having real people and a table perform in filmed action sequences which represented three variations of the agent-recipient relationship. Data from the 48 subjects were analyzed in a four-factor analysis of variance using the difference scores between visual fixation time to the experimental event minus the visual fixation time to the preceding standard. The results indicated that only one agent-recipient reversal, the agent recipient reversal by direction, was watched more than the combined means of the agent-recipient reversal by position and the position-direction reversals. (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.
Note: Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 29-April 1, 1973)