NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ856748
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Selectivity in Infant Social Referencing
Stenberg, Gunilla
Infancy, v14 n4 p457-473 2009
In laboratory studies of social referencing, infants as young as 12 months have been reported to prefer looking at the experimenter over the caregiver for clarifying information. From an expertise perspective, such behavior could be interpreted as if the infant seeks information from others and can discriminate between persons who have or do not have relevant information to provide in the laboratory. If this is the case, higher order cognitive capacities might be involved in infant selectivity in looking in social referencing situations. However, it has also been proposed that associative learning processes might account for infant preferences in such studies. To examine whether an expertise perspective or if more basic learning processes best explain infant selectivity in looking, 40 12-month-old infants were assigned to 1 of 2 comparable conditions. The experimenter versus the caregiver presented an ambiguous toy and delivered positive information about the toy. The infants preferred to look at the experimenter and they regulated their behavior more in accordance with information coming from the experimenter. Thus, an associative learning account cannot explain infant preferences in looking. The results are discussed in terms of an expertise perspective. (Contains 3 tables.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden