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Fourteen- and Eighteen-Month-Old Infants Understand Others' Communicative Intents
Chien, Chia Hui
Chien, Chia Hui
communicative intentional understanding
|Issue Date:||2013-07-01 17:32:54 (UTC+8)|
Understanding the intents of others, to understand the existence of specific goals that people wish to achieve from their behaviors, is one of important basic abilities in the social cognitive development of an infant. The developmental time frames of such ability should be the same across cultures. However, previous domestic and overseas studies proposed that the abilities of infants to understand the communicative intents of others through nonverbal cues are different between Taiwanese and western cultures. Hence, in this study, two controlled experiments were conducted to explore the abilities of Taiwanese infants to understand the communicative intents of others through nonverbal cues and the factors of the tasks that may cause different results between domestic and overseas studies. In the first experiment, an experimenter used the cues of gazing, pointing, and intentional vocalization in a hiding-game task to examine whether fourteen- and eighteen-month-old Taiwanese infants could infer communicative intents expressed in the three nonverbal cues and find the hidden objects. Results showed that 14-month-old Taiwanese infants could only follow the cue of pointing to find the hidden objects, but not gazing or intentional vocalization. And 18-month-old Taiwanese infants could find the hidden objects by following only the cue of gazing. To exclude the possible interferences of the target containers, the experimenter used the same procedures and settings in the second experiment as the first one, but modified the containers to clarify the hiding-game task. Results showed that 14-month-old Taiwanese infants could still follow only the cue of pointing to find the hidden object, but 18-month-old Taiwanese infants successfully followed all three types of cues. Based on these findings, the abilities of infants to understand others’ communicative intents by following nonverbal cues are the same in Taiwanese and western cultures. That is, the developmental time frames of the abilities of infants to understand the communicative intents through nonverbal cues are the same across different cultures.
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