Social Referencing Development

Better Essays
Research Replication: The Development of Social Referencing
Keely Rodriguez
California State University of Sacramento
Professor Jaeger

The development of social referencing Infants could indicate the emotional reactions of other people in order to evaluate situations or objects as safe or risky (Wagner, 2004, p. 309.)

Walden and Ogan conducted a study to better understand the way infants engage in social referencing as a means of influencing their interpretations and responses to events, objects, and people. Social referencing was examined on infants as young as 6 months of age and indicated that they reference their parents and other persons by the end of the first year of life (Walden & Ogan,
…show more content…
There were 18 girls and 22 boys which were observed together with a parent; 32 participated with their mothers while 8 participated were observed with their fathers. The children were selected from several day care centers in Nashville, Tennessee in which the majority of the infants came from middle class families.…show more content…
There were several differences in age related behaviors between the groups. The youngest group did not seek the parent’s face as frequently as did the older grouped children. The older children’s preference for making reference to the parent’s face may reflect their understanding that facial expressions provide a significant source information about events. The youngest children may have lacked such understanding or they may have been more concerned with simply establishing their parents secured presence rather than using them as a resource for appraising the toys. The looking pattern of the youngest children suggest that they may have not detected the fear effect of the parental communication or understood that the message referred specifically to the toy. However, the fact that the youngest group spent less time playing with the toy associated with the fearful message indicated that some communication did occur. By the end of the first year of life, children can be expected to have at least some understanding of the meaning of fearful expressions as well as referential communications, and they appear to have taken their parents negative messages seriously. Infants of about 12 months of age have frequently been the focus of social referencing studies, and the results of the present investigation suggest that social referencing effects may indeed
Get Access