The role of intersensory redundancy in the emergence of social referencing in 5½-month-old infants

Mariana Vaillant-Molina, Lorraine E Bahrick
Developmental Psychology 2012, 48 (1): 1-9
Early evidence of social referencing was examined in 5½-month-old infants. Infants were habituated to 2 films of moving toys, one toy eliciting a woman's positive emotional expression and the other eliciting a negative expression under conditions of bimodal (audiovisual) or unimodal visual (silent) speech. It was predicted that intersensory redundancy provided by audiovisual (but not available in unimodal visual) events would enhance detection of the relation between emotional expressions and the corresponding toy. Consistent with predictions, only infants who received bimodal, audiovisual events detected a change in the affect-object relations, showing increased looking during a switch test in which the toy-affect pairing was reversed. Moreover, in a subsequent live preference test, they preferentially touched the 3-dimensional toy previously paired with the positive expression. These findings suggest social referencing emerges by 5½ months in the context of intersensory redundancy provided by dynamic multimodal stimulation and that even 5½-month-old infants demonstrate preferences for 3-dimensional objects on the basis of affective information depicted in videotaped events.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"