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    Probing the strength of infants' preference for helpers over hinderers: two replication attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011)

    Salvadori, E.A. and Blazsekova, T. and Volein, Agnes and Karap, Z. and Tatone, D. and Mascaro, O. and Csibra, Gergely (2015) Probing the strength of infants' preference for helpers over hinderers: two replication attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011). PLoS One 10 (11), e0140570. ISSN 1932-6203.

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    Abstract

    Several studies indicate that infants prefer individuals who act prosocially over those who act antisocially toward unrelated third parties. In the present study, we focused on a paradigm published by Kiley Hamlin and Karen Wynn in 2011. In this study, infants were habituated to a live puppet show in which a protagonist tried to open a box to retrieve a toy placed inside. The protagonist was either helped by a second puppet (the “Helper”), or hindered by a third puppet (the “Hinderer”). At test, infants were presented with the Helper and the Hinderer, and encouraged to reach for one of them. In the original study, 75% of 9-month-olds selected the Helper, arguably demonstrating a preference for prosocial over antisocial individuals. We conducted two studies with the aim of replicating this result. Each attempt was performed by a different group of experimenters. Study 1 followed the methods of the published study as faithfully as possible. Study 2 introduced slight modifications to the stimuli and the procedure following the guidelines generously provided by Kiley Hamlin and her collaborators. Yet, in our replication attempts, 9-month-olds’ preference for helpers over hinderers did not differ significantly from chance (62.5% and 50%, respectively, in Studies 1 and 2). Two types of factors could explain why our results differed from those of Hamlin and Wynn: minor methodological dissimilarities (in procedure, materials, or the population tested), or the effect size being smaller than originally assumed. We conclude that fine methodological details that are crucial to infants’ success in this task need to be identified to ensure the replicability of the original result.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergely Csibra
    Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2015 08:25
    Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:12
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13543

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    • Probing the strength of infants' preference for helpers over hinderers: two replication attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011). (deposited 22 Dec 2015 08:25) [Currently Displayed]

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