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Open AccessArticle

Infant Understanding of Different Forms of Social Exclusion

Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Forskningsveien 3A, 0323 Oslo, Norway
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(9), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9090227
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 3 September 2019 / Published: 7 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Study of Eye Movements in Infancy)
In a series of eye-tracking studies, we investigated preverbal infants’ understanding of social exclusion by analyzing their gaze behaviors as they were familiarized with animations depicting social acceptance and explicit or implicit social exclusion. In addition, we implemented preferential reaching and anticipatory looking paradigms to further assess understanding of outcomes. Across all experiments (n = 81), it was found that 7–9 month-old infants exhibited non-random visual scanning and gaze behaviors and responded systematically and above random chance in their choice of character and, to some extent, in their anticipation of the movement of a neutral character during a test trial. Together, the results suggest that not only do preverbal infants follow and understand third party social events, such as acceptance and exclusion, but that they also update their representations of particular characters as events unfold and evaluate characters on the basis of their actions, as well as the consequences of those actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: social exclusion; social cognitive development; infant gaze behavior; preferential reaching paradigm; anticipatory looking paradigm social exclusion; social cognitive development; infant gaze behavior; preferential reaching paradigm; anticipatory looking paradigm
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Prendergast, C.N. Infant Understanding of Different Forms of Social Exclusion. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 227.

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