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

TitleDo 15-month-old infants prefer helpers? A replication of Hamlin et al. (2007)
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsSchlingloff, L., G. Csibra, and D. Tatone
Journal titleRoyal Society Open Science
Year2020
Pages191795
Volume7
Abstract

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 3D-animated video stimuli. Unlike previous replication attempts, ours uniquely benefitted from detailed procedural advice by Hamlin. In contrast to 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.

ISSN2054-5703
Languageenglish
DOI10.1098/rsos.191795
Publisher linkhttps://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.191795
Unit: 
Cognitive Development Center (CDC)
File attachment: