The present research examined whether 10-month-old infants expect agents to perform equal distribution of resources. In Experiment 1, infants saw a distributor performing either an equal distribution where one strawberry was given to each of two recipients, or an unequal distribution that favored one of the recipients. Infants looked longer at the unequal test event, suggesting that they expected the strawberries to be distributed equally. In Experiment 2, the potential recipients were replaced with inanimate objects in order to rule out a lower-level alternative explanation of the results in Experiment 1 based on symmetric movement of the distributor. Infants’ looking times did not reveal a preference for one of the two outcomes of the test events (i.e., symmetric or asymmetric movement). Experiment 3 controlled for the role of the distributive action, that is, here the distributors only removed barriers revealing strawberries that the recipients already had. No preference was observed when an equal or unequal initial allocation of resources was revealed. Experiment 4 assessed whether infants relied on affiliative information provided by the distributor’s movements. The distributor made the same movements as in Experiment 1, but without distributing any strawberries, and no difference in looking times was observed. These findings support the view that preverbal infants expect agents to behave according to a simple principle: resources are to be distributed equally among equivalent recipients. We discuss the possible links between such reactions and the emergence of an early sense of fairness.

Preverbal infants’ ability to encode the outcome of distributive actions / Meristo, M.; Strid, K.; Surian, L.. - In: INFANCY. - ISSN 1525-0008. - STAMPA. - 2016/21:3(2016), pp. 353-372. [10.1111/infa.12124]

Preverbal infants’ ability to encode the outcome of distributive actions

Surian, L.
2016-01-01

Abstract

The present research examined whether 10-month-old infants expect agents to perform equal distribution of resources. In Experiment 1, infants saw a distributor performing either an equal distribution where one strawberry was given to each of two recipients, or an unequal distribution that favored one of the recipients. Infants looked longer at the unequal test event, suggesting that they expected the strawberries to be distributed equally. In Experiment 2, the potential recipients were replaced with inanimate objects in order to rule out a lower-level alternative explanation of the results in Experiment 1 based on symmetric movement of the distributor. Infants’ looking times did not reveal a preference for one of the two outcomes of the test events (i.e., symmetric or asymmetric movement). Experiment 3 controlled for the role of the distributive action, that is, here the distributors only removed barriers revealing strawberries that the recipients already had. No preference was observed when an equal or unequal initial allocation of resources was revealed. Experiment 4 assessed whether infants relied on affiliative information provided by the distributor’s movements. The distributor made the same movements as in Experiment 1, but without distributing any strawberries, and no difference in looking times was observed. These findings support the view that preverbal infants expect agents to behave according to a simple principle: resources are to be distributed equally among equivalent recipients. We discuss the possible links between such reactions and the emergence of an early sense of fairness.
2016
3
Meristo, M.; Strid, K.; Surian, L.
Preverbal infants’ ability to encode the outcome of distributive actions / Meristo, M.; Strid, K.; Surian, L.. - In: INFANCY. - ISSN 1525-0008. - STAMPA. - 2016/21:3(2016), pp. 353-372. [10.1111/infa.12124]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/195375
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