This article sought to answer to research questions; Will infants show discriminative crying when separated from their mothers in a typical laboratory setting, and is discriminative crying based on the infant’s age. This study is significant, because it was the first of many comparable experiments on social behavior in infants. The hypothesis of this article states that, the infant will tend to cry more when the mother left the area rather than when the experimental assistant left, as well as that the age of the infant was a significant factor in whether or not the child would show discriminative crying.
Sixty four infants ranging from the ages of 3 to 19 months, and their mothers were utilized in this study. Of the 64 infants, 31 were males and 33 were females. Half of these participants were obtained from written correspondence to their mothers, while the other half other half was enlisted from the Indiana University campus married student housing. It is important to note that all infants being used in this research were healthy and that parents reported no instances of neurological damage or deficiency.
Upon beginning the experimental procedure, the mother was introduced to a young adult female, who would be serving as the experimental assistant; after which the mother was subjected to a brief ten minute interview while the child was held by the mother or allowed to crawl on the floor. After being briefed on the procedure in which to follow, the mother was then instructed to place the child inside of a crib (that was inside of the room), remain by the crib for one minute, and then (along with the assistant) sit five feet equidistant away from the crib. The mother and the assistant then alternated leaving the room during set time frames, saying nothing more to the infant other than “hi” or “bye” upon leaving or reentering the room. There was never a time when both the mother and the assistant were out of the room. If a child cried during a five second...
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