Infant habituation: assessments of individual differences and short-term reliability at five months.

M. H. Bornstein, A. A. Benasich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study is concerned with individual differences and short-term reliability of infant-control habituation of visual attention. Habituation to single female faces and to single geometric patterns was observed separately in 2 groups of comparable 5-month-olds. Each group participated in habituation twice, and habituation sessions for each were separated from one another by 10 days. Across the 2 conditions, habituation was found to be distributed into 3 patterns: Most infants decreased looking and achieved criterion in a negatively exponential fashion, some infants first increased looking and then rapidly habituated, and some infants showed fluctuating and idiosyncratic looking-time functions prior to habituating. Both qualitative patterns and quantitative indexes of habituation showed moderate but significant reliability between assessment sessions. Quantitative and psychometric characteristics of habituation and the meaningfulness of habituation of attention as an index of infant cognition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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