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ERIC Number: EJ810679
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Experience Matters: The Impact of Doing versus Watching on Infants' Subsequent Perception of Tool-Use Events
Sommerville, Jessica A.; Hildebrand, Elina A.; Crane, Catharyn C.
Developmental Psychology, v44 n5 p1249-1256 Sep 2008
Prior work suggests that active experience affects infants' understanding of simple actions. The present studies compared the impact of active and observational experience on infants' ability to identify the goal of a novel tool-use event. Infants either received active training and practice in using a cane to retrieve an out-of-reach toy or had matched observational experience before taking part in a habituation paradigm that we used to assess infants' ability to identify the goal of another person's tool-use acts. Active training alone facilitated 10-month-old infants' ability to identify the goal of the tool-use event. Active experience using tools may enable infants to build motor representations of tool-use events that subsequently guide action perception and support action understanding. (Contains 3 figures and 5 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A