ERIC Number: ED201376
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Social Referencing and Second Order Effects in Ten-Month-Old Infants.
Feinman, Saul; Lewis, Michael
One pathway through which second order effects proceed is "social referencing," a process in which the individual utilizes another's interpretation when appraising a situation. This phenomenon is well identified in adults and older children. While it had not been studied in infancy, there are good indications that the necessary cognitive and social skills for social referencing emerge in the second half of the first year. In the present study, 87 ten-month-old boys and girls received nonverbally positive and neutral messages about a stranger from their mothers, either directly when she communicated to the infant or indirectly when the infant observed her speaking to the stranger. Overall, the more positive the mother's message, the more friendly the infant's behavior to the stranger. This effect was very strong when the message was provided directly to infants of easy temperament. The evidence suggests that infants' evaluations of the stranger, which led to differences in behavior to the stranger, were influenced by the mother's message. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.