Discrepancy between parental reports of infants' receptive vocabulary and infants' behaviour in a preferential looking task

  • Houston-Price C
  • Mather E
  • Sakkalou E
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Abstract

Two experiments are described which explore the relationship between parental reports of infants' receptive vocabularies at 1 ; 6 (Experiment 1a) or 1;3, 1;6 and 1;9 (Experiment 1b) and the comprehension infants demonstrated in a preferential looking task. The instrument used was the Oxford CDI, a British English adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI (Words & Gestures). Infants were shown pairs of images of familiar objects, either both name-known or both name-unknown according to their parent's responses on the CDI. At all ages, and on both name-known and name-unknown trials, preference for the target image increased significantly from baseline when infants heard the target's label. This discrepancy suggests that parental report underestimates infants' word knowledge.

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