ERIC Number: ED286660
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Implicit Causality in Verbal Descriptions of Adult-Infant Interaction.
It was recently hypothesized that the source of interactional differences between mothers and fathers lies in differences in social perception processes, such as representation of infant and coding of situational variables. From this perspective, the present work analyzes the attribution of causality in interpersonal events related to an episode of interaction between an adult and an infant at play. Mothers, fathers, and male and female nonparents were asked to produce a story for six drawings representing an episode of adult-infant play interaction. An analysis of verbs showed that mothers used state (psychological) verbs in describing infants' behavior more than did fathers and nonparents. Moreover, a within-group comparison of descriptions of adult and infant behavior showed different patterns of causality attribution. Mothers described a logically consequent pattern of causality, whereas fathers described a pattern of conjunction or joint action. Moreover, fathers tended to interpret fewer events in causal terms. Mothers attributed internal psychological states to babies and viewed adults as responding to such states in the play situation. Results show that, in general, the pattern of causality for nonmothers and nonfathers resembles that of mothers, although gender specific patterns were found for some aspects. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the BPS Developmental Section (York, England, September 11-14, 1987).