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    Do 15-month-old infants prefer helpers? A replication of Hamlin et al. (2007)

    Schlingloff, L. and Csibra, Gergely and Tatone, D. (2020) Do 15-month-old infants prefer helpers? A replication of Hamlin et al. (2007). Royal Society Open Science 7 , p. 191795. ISSN 2054-5703.

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    Hamlin et al. found in 2007 that preverbal infants displayed a preference for helpers over hinderers. The robustness of this finding and the conditions under which infant sociomoral evaluation can be elicited has since been debated. Here, we conducted a replication of the original study, in which we tested 14- to 16-month-olds using a familiarization procedure with three-dimensional animated video stimuli. Unlike previous replication attempts, ours uniquely benefited from detailed procedural advice by Hamlin. In contrast with the original results, only 16 out of 32 infants (50%) in our study reached for the helper; thus, we were not able to replicate the findings. A possible reason for this failure is that infants’ preference for prosocial agents may not be reliably elicited with the procedure and stimuli adopted. Alternatively, the effect size of infants’ preference may be smaller than originally estimated. The study addresses ongoing methodological debates on the replicability of influential findings in infant cognition.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Gergo Csibra
    Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 09:56
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:59


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