Effects of temporal predictability on the reactions of 1-year-olds to potentially frightening toys

Megan R. Gunnar, Kelly Leighton, Raymond Peleaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three experiments examined the effects of temporal predictability on 227 1-yr-old infants' reactions to potentially frightening, mechanical toys. Ss responded less fearfully to toys that played on predictable as compared to unpredictable schedules. Being able to predict how long the toys would stay off each time they stopped playing, rather than how long they would play once they came on, was the aspect of the predictable schedules that reduced fear. Fixing the duration of these intertrial intervals did not reduce fearful behavior by increasing the predictability of when the toys would start playing. In fact, signaling each activation increased negative reactions. Neither uncertainty-based hypotheses nor preparatory-response hypotheses can account for these data. Data most closely approximate M. Seligman's (1975) safety-signal model. (25 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 1984

Keywords

  • temporal predictability, reactions to potentially frightening mechanical toys, 1 yr olds, approximation of M. Seligman's safety-signal model

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