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Means-end behavior in young infants: the interplay of action perception and action production


Daum, Moritz M; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa (2009). Means-end behavior in young infants: the interplay of action perception and action production. Infancy, 14(6):613-640.

Abstract

In 2 experiments, the interplay of action perception and action production was investigated in 6-month-old infants. In Experiment 1, infants received 2 versions of a means-end task in counterbalanced order. In the action perception version, a preferential looking paradigm in which infants were shown an actor performing means-end behavior with an expected and an unexpected outcome was used. In the action production version, infants had to pull a cloth to receive a toy. In Experiment 2, infants' ability to perform the action production task with a cloth was compared to their ability to perform the action production task with a less flexible board. Finally, Experiment 3 was designed to control for alternative low-level explanations of the differences in the looking times toward the final states presented in Experiment 1 by only presenting the final states of the action perception task without showing the initial action sequence. Results obtained in Experiment 1 showed that in the action perception task, infants discriminated between the expected and the unexpected outcome. This perceptual ability was independent of their actual competence in executing means- end behavior in the action production task. Experiment 2 showed no difference in 6-month-olds' performance in the action production task depending on the properties of the support under the toy. Similarly, in Experiment 3, no differences in looking times between the 2 final states were found. The findings are discussed in light of theories on the development of action perception and action production.

Abstract

In 2 experiments, the interplay of action perception and action production was investigated in 6-month-old infants. In Experiment 1, infants received 2 versions of a means-end task in counterbalanced order. In the action perception version, a preferential looking paradigm in which infants were shown an actor performing means-end behavior with an expected and an unexpected outcome was used. In the action production version, infants had to pull a cloth to receive a toy. In Experiment 2, infants' ability to perform the action production task with a cloth was compared to their ability to perform the action production task with a less flexible board. Finally, Experiment 3 was designed to control for alternative low-level explanations of the differences in the looking times toward the final states presented in Experiment 1 by only presenting the final states of the action perception task without showing the initial action sequence. Results obtained in Experiment 1 showed that in the action perception task, infants discriminated between the expected and the unexpected outcome. This perceptual ability was independent of their actual competence in executing means- end behavior in the action production task. Experiment 2 showed no difference in 6-month-olds' performance in the action production task depending on the properties of the support under the toy. Similarly, in Experiment 3, no differences in looking times between the 2 final states were found. The findings are discussed in light of theories on the development of action perception and action production.

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10 citations in Web of Science®
11 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:24 Sep 2013 07:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:59
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1525-0008
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15250000903263965

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