This study examined 4- and 5-year-olds' ability to spontaneously use the relative duration and frequency of another's object-directed gaze for inferring that person's preference. In Experiment 1, analysis revealed a strong age effect for judgment accuracy, which could not be accounted for by cue-monitoring proficiency. Reducing the saliency of the objects in Experiment 2 yielded significant improvement in the younger children's performance. Thus, at 4 years, children already show signs of attending to the temporal dimension of gaze for making mentalistic inferences of preferential liking, but their competence may be undermined by the object choices themselves. By 5 years, they appear to overcome this competition. The obtained developmental difference is discussed in terms of concurrent transitions in attention regulation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Children's use of the temporal dimension of gaze for inferring preference|
|Pages (from-to)||142 - 152|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2006|
Bibliographical notePublisher: American Psychological Association