Infants' Preference for Social Interactions Increases from 7 to 13 Months of Age.
Thiele M., Hepach R., Michel C., Haun D.
This study examined 7-to-13.5-month-old middle-class Western infants' visual orienting to third-party interactions in parallel with their social attention behavior during own social interactions (Leipzig, Germany). In Experiment 1, 9.5- to-11-month-olds (n = 20) looked longer than 7- to-8.5-month-olds (n = 20) at videos showing two adults interacting with one another when simultaneously presented with a scene showing two adults acting individually. Moreover, older infants showed higher social engagement (including joint attention) during parent-infant free play. Experiment 2 replicated this age-related increase in both measures and showed that it follows continuous trajectories from 7 to 13.5 months (n = 50). This suggests that infants' attentional orienting to others' interactions coincides with parallel developments in their social attention behavior during own social interactions.