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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Infants' Reasoning About Others' Preferences

  • Author(s): Duh, Shinchieh
  • Advisor(s): Wang, Su-hua
  • et al.

Detecting others' preferences for a relational category of objects (e.g., taller objects) may be difficult, because doing so requires comparing within and between object pairs to extract the common relation. Extending from Duh and Wang (2014), the present research examined the conditions under which infants detect such preferences. In Experiment 1, an experimenter chose the taller of two objects in three examples and the shorter object in one example; the order of this last example was manipulated. In test, the experimenter chose either the taller or the shorter of two novel objects. Fourteen-month-olds detected the experimenter's overall preference for taller objects only when the inconsistent example occurred after three consecutive consistent examples. In Experiment 2, 11-month-olds detected the preference with three consistent examples, but only if they had made a choice prior to the experiment. Together, the results highlight the role of mixed data and action experience in infants' preference reasoning.

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