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Seven-Month-Old Infants Selectively Reproduce the Goals of Animate But Not Inanimate Agents
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Seven-Month-Old Infants Selectively Reproduce the Goals of Animate But Not Inanimate Agents

Author: Neha Mahajan Affiliation: Department of Psychology Yale University; Amanda L Woodward Affiliation: Department of Psychology University of Maryland
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Infancy, v14 n6 (November-December 2009): 667-679
  Peer-reviewed
Database:Wiley Online Library
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCatBritish Library SerialsAcademic Search Complete
Summary:
We tested 7-month-old infants' sensitivity to others' goals in an imitation task, and assessed whether infants are as likely to imitate the goals of nonhuman agents as they are to imitate human goals. In the current studies, we used the paradigm developed by Hamlin et. al (in press) to test infants' responses to human actions versus closely matched inanimate object motions. The experimental events resembled those  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Neha Mahajan Affiliation: Department of Psychology Yale University; Amanda L Woodward Affiliation: Department of Psychology University of Maryland
ISSN:1525-0008
DOI: 10.1080/15250000903265184
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5153775807
Notes: Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511. E-mail: neha.mahajan@yale.edu
Number of References: 31
Awards:

Abstract:

We tested 7-month-old infants' sensitivity to others' goals in an imitation task, and assessed whether infants are as likely to imitate the goals of nonhuman agents as they are to imitate human goals. In the current studies, we used the paradigm developed by Hamlin et. al (in press) to test infants' responses to human actions versus closely matched inanimate object motions. The experimental events resembled those from Luo and Baillargeon's (2005) looking-time study in which infants responded to the movements of an inanimate object (a self-propelled box) as goal-directed. Although infants responded visually to the goal structure of the object's movement, here they did not reproduce the box's goal. These results provide further evidence that 7-month-olds' goal representations are sufficiently robust to drive their own manual actions. However, they indicate that infants' responses to inanimate object movements may not be robust in this way.
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