Previous findings suggest that infants prefer other infants from among individuals of various ages. There are two explanations for this: one is that like adults, infants prefer babyish characteristics; the other is that infants prefer individuals who are similar to themselves. We examined whether infants respond differently to same-age infants from among older or younger infants. This might allow the possibility of methodologically separating the two explanations for peer preference in infancy. The results revealed that 9-month-olds showed peer preference when they saw movies of infants. Further experiments showed that 6- and 9-month-olds preferred static images of same-age infants. The lack of preference of 6-month-olds for movies of same-age infants could be related to their ability to process information. Thus, the cue for peer preference may be physical similarity to oneself, rather than the strength of babyish characteristics reflecting a particular developmental stage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology