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Spatial errors made by infants: Inadequate spatial cues or evidence for egocentrism?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/1978
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Journal number1
Volume69
Number of pages8
Pages77-84
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Nine month old infants search correctly for an object which they have seen hidden in one position, but cease to do so after they have been moved to the opposite side of the display, searching instead at a position which is apparently defined egocentrically from their experience before movement. This error can be explained on the one hand in terms of response dependence or egocentrism, or on the other hand as due to a lack of adequate spatial cues to allocentric position. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, 64 nine month old infants were presented with a hidden object problem in which the two alternative positions had covers of different colours. The results show that infants could search correctly for an object in one location although they saw the problem from different sides. This result combines with those of other conditions to indicate that cover colour provides an adequate spatial cue, allowing the infant to specify position allocentrically, provided the correct cover maintains a stable position.