ERIC Number: ED261807
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Influence of Labeling on Ratings of Infants: A Prematurity Prejudice.
Miller, Michael D.; Ottinger, Donald R.
Two full term and two preterm infants were videotaped while being administered six items from the Brazelton Scale. Infants were assigned alternately the labels "preterm" and "fullterm" and shown to a group of 256 undergraduate students. It was hypothesized that: (1) subjects who view infants labeled as preterm would rate them lower on objective scales of behavioral performance and on subjective scales of infant characteristics; (2) subjects who rate the infant's performance on subjective scales would demonstrate a greater labeling bias than subjects who rate the infant's performance on the objective, behaviorally anchored Brazelton Scale; and (3) subjects who view a labeled preterm would report less confidence in their ability to care for that baby's needs compared to subjects viewing a labeled fullterm infant. Results reveal that subjects demonstrated no influence of label in their ratings of the infants' Brazelton performance or in assessing their confidence in performing various caregiving tasks for the particular infant viewed. However, on global ratings, the labeled preterms were rated as significantly less attentive, less healthy, smaller, more difficult to care for, less enjoyable to interact with, and less sociable. Results are discussed as supporting the existence of a prematurity prejudice. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).