Infant Gaze Following During Parent–Infant Coviewing of Baby Videos

Authors


  • We would like to thank and acknowledge Laura Claxton, Dawn Melzer, Svetlana Borochin, Rachel Genesky, Ashley Hubbard, Mindy Jitmanowan, Suzanna Kia, Ian Kunkes, Mike Liuzzo, Melanie Moser, Dejah Pires, and Stacey Wong. We would also like to thank the parents and children who participated in this project. The research presented here is part of a larger project that was made possible by unrestricted research funding provided by Sesame Workshop and the National Science Foundation (BCS-0519197). D.R. Anderson played a role in the initial development of the Sesame Beginnings series by, among other things, reviewing early script drafts.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lindsay B. Demers, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. Electronic mail may be sent to lindsay.b.demers@gmail.com or anderson@psych.umass.edu.

Abstract

A total of 122 parent–infant dyads were observed as they watched a familiar or novel infant-directed video in a laboratory setting. Infants were between 12–15 and 18–21 months old. Infants were more likely to look toward the TV immediately following their parents' look toward the TV. This apparent social influence on infant looking at television was not solely due to the common influence of the television program on looking behavior. Moreover, infant looks that were preceded by parent looks tended to be longer in length than those that were not preceded by parent looks, suggesting that infants assign greater value to media content attended to by their parents. Thus, parental patterns of attention to television may influence early viewing behavior.

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