Why do Infants Look at and Use Positive Information from Some Informants Rather Than Others in Ambiguous Situations?
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
Copyright © International Society on Infant Studies (ISIS)
Volume 17, Issue 6, pages 642–671, November/December 2012
How to Cite
Stenberg, G. (2012), Why do Infants Look at and Use Positive Information from Some Informants Rather Than Others in Ambiguous Situations?. Infancy, 17: 642–671. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7078.2011.00108.x
- Issue published online: 3 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2011
Three laboratory experiments on social referencing examined whether infants’ tendencies to look at and use positive information from the experimenter could be interpreted from a perspective of novelty or expertise. In Study 1, novelty was manipulated. Forty-eight 12-month-old infants participated. In a between-subject design, a more novel or a less novel experimenter presented an ambiguous object and provided positive information. The infants looked more at and regulated their behavior more in accordance with information coming from the less novel experimenter. In Study 2, expertise was manipulated. Forty-eight 12-month-old infants were exposed to one experimenter who showed expertise about the laboratory situation and one experimenter who did not show such competence. The infants looked more at and regulated their behavior more in accordance with information coming from the expert. In Study 3, 40 12-month-old infants participated. The infants were exposed to a toy-expert who was either novel or familiar. The infants, in both groups, looked as much at the toy-experts and used the information regardless of whether the novel or familiar toy-expert had provided information. The findings suggest that novelty does not increase looking in ambiguous situations. Instead, the results support the expertise perspective of infant looking preferences.