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Orienting to third-party conversations*

  • CARMEN MARTÍNEZ-SUSSMANN (a1), NAMEERA AKHTAR (a1), GIL DIESENDRUCK (a2) and LORI MARKSON (a3)

Abstract

Children as young as two years of age are able to learn novel object labels through overhearing, even when distracted by an attractive toy (Akhtar, 2005). The present studies varied the information provided about novel objects and examined which elements (i.e. novel versus neutral information and labels versus facts) toddlers chose to monitor, and what type of information they were more likely to learn. In Study 1, participants learned only the novel label and the novel fact containing a novel label. In Study 2, only girls learned the novel label. Neither girls nor boys learned the novel fact. In both studies, analyses of children's gaze patterns suggest that children who learned the new information strategically oriented to the third-party conversation.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Carmen Martínez-Sussmann, Psychology Department, University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. e-mail: olimpia1@ucsc.edu

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[*]

We would like to thank all the families that participated and the following research assistants who helped with various aspects of data collection and coding: Lauren DiMaggio, Justin Henderson, Lily Hendlin, Rubina Jetley, Lyssa Kaehler, Alexandra Koenig, Ronit Moreh, Yumiko Nakai, Jessica Polk-Berkowitz, Marisa Raditsch, Nicol Ruber, Katie Scherrman, Alex Smookler, Rebecca Spence, Melissa Sussmann, Tiffany Teh, Kristin Weisler and Hannah Williams. Special thanks to Barbara Rogoff for helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript. This research was supported by a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Pre-doctoral Training Grant (9 T32 HD046423-07) to the first author and faculty research funds granted by the University of California, Santa Cruz to the second author.

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References

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Orienting to third-party conversations*

  • CARMEN MARTÍNEZ-SUSSMANN (a1), NAMEERA AKHTAR (a1), GIL DIESENDRUCK (a2) and LORI MARKSON (a3)

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