Project Overview

Familiarity and novelty effects are the cornerstone of many infant behavioral methods (e.g., habituation, head-turn preference, preferential looking / looking-while-listening, eye tracking). In this ongoing project we investigate Hunter and Ames’ (1988) model of infants’ preference for familiar and novel stimuli. We aim to empirically test whether infant age, task difficulty, and familiarization time interact to predict the direction of infants’ preference for familiar vs. novel stimuli. By comprehensively testing the Hunter and Ames model, we will solidify our foundational understanding of infant curiosity and provide the most comprehensive, global picture of the early foundations of infant cognition to date.

Figure 1. This figure (adapted from Bergmann and Cristia, 2016) depicts Hunter & Ames’ model of infant looking to familiar (plotted up) and novel (plotted down) stimuli at different levels of pre-test familiarization time (shown on the x-axis; Figure 1). The dashed line indicates equal preference for familiar and novel stimuli. The grey line represents the model’s prediction for older infants, and the black line for younger infants. The “lower complexity” and “higher complexity” arrows indicate how the proposed relation between age and familiarization time might shift with variation in stimulus complexity (i.e., the current operationalization of task difficulty).


MB5 Contributors

We encourage everyone who is interested in the project to contact the Project Leads (see above) or fill out the MB Sign-Up Form. Please note that access to infants/infant lab is NOT a prerequisite.

NOTE: Default table ordering is by contributor’s first name. You can filter, group, and/or sort entries by any field.

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Stage 1 Registered Report (preprint)

Kosie, J. E.*, Zettersten, M.*, Abu-Zhaya, R., Amso, D., Babineau, M., Baumgartner, H. A., Bazhydai, M., Belia, M., Benavides, S., Bergmann, C., Berteletti, I., Black, A. K., Borges, P., Borovsky, A., Byers-Heinlein, K., Cabrera, L., Calignano, G., Cao, A., Cox, C. M. M., … Lew-Williams, C. (2024, March 1). ManyBabies 5: A large-scale investigation of the proposed shift from familiarity preference to novelty preference in infant looking time. PsyArXiv. (*co-first authors)

To cite, use (Kosie & Zettersten et al., accepted pending data collection)

Additional authors will be added to the Stage 2 Registered Report after data analysis is complete


Credit/© Einstein Foundation Berlin/2470 Media GmbH