Over, H. (2009). Eighteen-Month-Old Infants Show Increased Helping Following
Priming With Affiliation. Psychological Science, Vol. 20 Issue 10, p1189-1193
Eighteen-Month-Old Infants Show Increased Helping Following Priming With Affiliation
This study explains attempts to explain how certain images can predict the way an infant positively or negatively interacts with the world, in terms of prosocial engagement. The purpose of this study is explicit, in that it is trying to convey that infants personality can be shaped by positive or negative influences, and ultimately discovering why infants differ in social skills. Much research has been done on child development and what specifically drives their development, whether it is environmental factors or simple genetic inheritance, this field of study is an essential tool in understanding the mechanisms in which shape our personalities throughout life. This particular experiment proposed a design that aimed to find a correlation between “a sense of affiliation to a group and the tendency to adopt a prosocial orientation” (1189). The hypothesis stated that: when infants were “primed” with images evoking affiliation, these images would shape the way an infant would affiliate with different social groups or social behaviors.
The authors of this study proposed a simple method of studying infant affiliation. The participants comprised of 60 18 month old infants including 27 boys and 33 girls. The infants were recruited for this study using a database in which parents had volunteered their children to be a part of child development studies. In total 15 infants were placed in each condition, and 7 were thrown out due to interference from parents. The two conditions tested were: Crying during the test and refusal to observe images. To test their hypothesis the researchers presented the infants with 8 color photographs and a prime such as a...
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