Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Supervisor

M.D. Rutherford

Language

English

Abstract

Infant-directed action, or 'motionese', is the tendency for mothers to spontaneously incorporate modifications to their actions when interacting with their infant versus another adult in a ma1111er that may facilitate the child's understanding of human action (Brand, Baldwin, & Ashburn, 2002). The present study explored whether fathers similarly alter their behaviour and whether this alteration differs from mothers' infant-directed action. Forty-two mothers and fathers demonstrated the properties of two novel objects to their 11to 13-month-old infants and to another adult. While mothers modified their actions on repetitiveness, range of motion, proximity, interactiveness, and enthusiasm, fathers modified their actions only on rate, proximity, and interactiveness. When directly comparing mothers' and fathers' motionese, few differences were observed. These fmdings indicate that to some extent, infants may learn about action from interactions beyond those experienced with their mothers.

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