Facial Diversity and Infant Preferences for Attractive Faces - Langlois, J.H., Ritter, J.M., Roggman, L.A. and Vaughn, L.S. (1991)
To replicate the findings of the previous study.
To test the nature versus nurture debate on infant development. Whether Infants would gaze longer at attractive or unattractive faces.
1st Experiment: 56 undergraduate students (28 men and 28 women) recruited from introductory psychology classes at UTThere were 60 babies in the study; there was nearly a 35-25 split between male and female.
Infants were an average age of 6 months and 6 days. All infants were tested within 3 weeks of their 6 month birthday.
Babies were excluded from the study if they were not healthy, and full-term babies. One child was excluded from the study because she was born premature; a few others were excluded because they were fussy.
2nd Experiment: 60 healthy full term infants, 35 boys and 25 girls. Volunteers from the University of Texas at Austin all within 3 weeks of their 6 month birthday
Infants were from the UT nursery. All infants were from mid-upper social class; nearly all white; from the same nursery.
The research method used in this study was a Lab experiment.
Babies were seated on their mother's lap; mother was blindfolded.
Babies were approximately 35 cm from the screen.
Independent observers measured interest by where baby gazed. Observers could not see the pictures that appeared on screen.
Babies attention was brought to the screen by a light and a buzzing sound; then two faces in color appeared side by side; one attractive, one non-attractive.
Each trial lasted 10 seconds.
The faces were presented in a right-left position, then a left-right position to prevent infant side preference.
Slides were always paired within sex; so a baby was never going to look at a male and a female on the same slide.
The babies rested between trials; after 8 trials they were given a 5-10 minute break to ensure they were not becoming fatigued.
Two independent observers watched the babies by a tape so they didn’t know what face the baby was starring at.
Babies gazed at attractive faces longer than unattractive faces.
Mother's attractiveness did not matter.
Unnatural activity for baby.
Low; lab study
Babies can't communicate their exact feelings about what they see; although this is why they used the gazing method.
Study supports nature side of debate.
Langlois said that the results of the study allow us to infer that there is a prototypical face hardwired into our psyche before we have a chance to en culture ourselves into society.
high level of control.
Large sample with a good gender split.
Kept on parent's lap so the baby would stay comfortable.
Picky about the participant group; eliminated fussy, and or premature babies.
Parents gave permission