"Shall we blick?" Novel words highlight actors' underlying intentions for 14-month-old infants.

Marian L. Chen*, Sandra R. Waxman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

By 14 months, infants have become exquisite observers of others' behavior and successful word learners. But do they coordinate their early observational and language capacities to gain insight into the intentions of others? Building upon Gergely, Bekkering, and Király's (2002) classic head-touch phenomenon, we consider the contribution of language to 14-month-old infants' imitation of an unconventional behavior (turning on a light with one's forehead, rather than hand). Providing a novel word ("I'm going to blick the light!") prompted infants to imitate; simply drawing attention to the action ("Look at this!"; "Look at what I'm doing!") did not. Thus, by 14 months, infants gain insight into the intentions of others by considering not only what we do but also what we say.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-431
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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