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ERIC Number: EJ830955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Sensitivity to Social Contingency and Positive Emotion in 2-Month-Olds
Soussignan, Robert; Nadel, Jacqueline; Canet, Pierre; Gerardin, Priscille
Infancy, v10 n2 p123-144 Jan 2006
This study was aimed at sorting out conflicting results in the literature concerning 2-month-olds' sensitivity to interpersonal contingency, and investigated the potential role of infants' positive emotion in contingency detection. Infants were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EG) that was presented an uninterrupted live-replay-live sequence of three 30-sec episodes of their mothers' communicative behavior using a double video TV paradigm, or to a control group (CG) that was presented an uninterrupted 90 sec of contingent maternal interactions. Infants of the EG grimaced more than infants of the CG only during the 2nd period of social exchange (replay vs. 2nd live period), but there was an increase of grimacing and a reduction in gazing during the 3rd period of televised interactions in infants of the CG. Each group was split into 2 subgroups a posteriori according to the presence or absence of smiling during the 1st contingent episode. Smiling infants of the EG reacted more negatively during the 2nd interaction period compared to other subgroups. These findings support the view that sensitivity, not fatigue or loss of interest to maternal stimulation, accounts for 2-month-olds' expressive changes during noncontingent maternal interactions; fatigue or loss of interest better explains the decline in attention and the increase of negative expressiveness during the last period of contingent interaction. The findings also suggest that the emotional climate of dyadic exchanges could be a contributing factor to infants' ability to detect the relations between their own actions and those of their social partners. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables, and 1 footnote.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France (Paris)