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Place versus response as the basis of spatial errors made by young infants.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/1977
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Journal number1
Volume23
Number of pages10
Pages162-171
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Nine-month-old infants search successfully for an object which they have seen hidden in one position, but they frequently continue to search for it there after observing it being hidden in a new position. This error can be explained in terms either of egocentric response perseveration or of perseveration to a particular place in space. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, 80 infants were presented with a problem consisting of several different conditions which separated response, position on a table, and absolute spatial position as factors leading to errors in search for hidden objects. The results strongly support the egocentric response hypothesis. The reason for this response perseveration strategy is discussed in terms of the lack of active experience of spatial displacements among 9-month-old infants.