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Probing the Strength of Infants' Preference for Helpers over Hinderers: Two Replication Attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011).

Salvadori E, Blazsekova T, Volein A, Karap Z, Tatone D, Mascaro O, Csibra G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Yet, in our replication attempts, 9-month-olds' preference for helpers over hinderers did not differ significantly from chance (62.5% and 50%, respectively, in Studies 1 and 2).Two types of factors could explain why our results differed from those of Hamlin and Wynn: minor methodological dissimilarities (in procedure, materials, or the population tested), or the effect size being smaller than originally assumed.We conclude that fine methodological details that are crucial to infants' success in this task need to be identified to ensure the replicability of the original result.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Development Center, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
Several studies indicate that infants prefer individuals who act prosocially over those who act antisocially toward unrelated third parties. In the present study, we focused on a paradigm published by Kiley Hamlin and Karen Wynn in 2011. In this study, infants were habituated to a live puppet show in which a protagonist tried to open a box to retrieve a toy placed inside. The protagonist was either helped by a second puppet (the "Helper"), or hindered by a third puppet (the "Hinderer"). At test, infants were presented with the Helper and the Hinderer, and encouraged to reach for one of them. In the original study, 75% of 9-month-olds selected the Helper, arguably demonstrating a preference for prosocial over antisocial individuals. We conducted two studies with the aim of replicating this result. Each attempt was performed by a different group of experimenters. Study 1 followed the methods of the published study as faithfully as possible. Study 2 introduced slight modifications to the stimuli and the procedure following the guidelines generously provided by Kiley Hamlin and her collaborators. Yet, in our replication attempts, 9-month-olds' preference for helpers over hinderers did not differ significantly from chance (62.5% and 50%, respectively, in Studies 1 and 2). Two types of factors could explain why our results differed from those of Hamlin and Wynn: minor methodological dissimilarities (in procedure, materials, or the population tested), or the effect size being smaller than originally assumed. We conclude that fine methodological details that are crucial to infants' success in this task need to be identified to ensure the replicability of the original result.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Helping and hindering trials in Studies 1 and 2.Pictures on the left of each panel show the protagonist trying to open the box. Pictures on the right of each panel show a helping or a hindering event.
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pone.0140570.g001: Helping and hindering trials in Studies 1 and 2.Pictures on the left of each panel show the protagonist trying to open the box. Pictures on the right of each panel show a helping or a hindering event.

Mentions: Habituation phase: Each trial of the habituation phase started with raising the curtain, revealing the stage with the rattle in the transparent box in the middle and the two dogs sitting at the back corners of the stage, equidistantly from the box. The Protagonist entered from the center of the back of the stage, in between the two dogs, moving to one side of the box, and looking twice at the toy inside. The Protagonist then jumped on the front part of the lid and tried to open the box five times. In the first two attempts, the Protagonist shook the lid before dropping it shut. In the third and fourth attempts the Protagonist lifted and lowered the lid down while continuously holding it. In the fifth attempt, one of the two dogs either helped or hindered the Protagonist’s attempt to open the box (see Fig 1). During Helping trials, the Helper dog grabbed a corner of the lid, and the two puppets opened the box together. Afterwards, the Protagonist reached for the toy inside the box, and stopped there, while the Helper ran off stage. During Hindering trials, the Hinderer dog slammed the box lid closed, preventing the Protagonist from getting the toy from the box. The Protagonist laid down next to the box without the toy, while the Hinderer ran off stage. Infants were shown Helping and Hindering events alternately. The average duration of each event was approximately 15 s.


Probing the Strength of Infants' Preference for Helpers over Hinderers: Two Replication Attempts of Hamlin and Wynn (2011).

Salvadori E, Blazsekova T, Volein A, Karap Z, Tatone D, Mascaro O, Csibra G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Helping and hindering trials in Studies 1 and 2.Pictures on the left of each panel show the protagonist trying to open the box. Pictures on the right of each panel show a helping or a hindering event.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4643979&req=5

pone.0140570.g001: Helping and hindering trials in Studies 1 and 2.Pictures on the left of each panel show the protagonist trying to open the box. Pictures on the right of each panel show a helping or a hindering event.
Mentions: Habituation phase: Each trial of the habituation phase started with raising the curtain, revealing the stage with the rattle in the transparent box in the middle and the two dogs sitting at the back corners of the stage, equidistantly from the box. The Protagonist entered from the center of the back of the stage, in between the two dogs, moving to one side of the box, and looking twice at the toy inside. The Protagonist then jumped on the front part of the lid and tried to open the box five times. In the first two attempts, the Protagonist shook the lid before dropping it shut. In the third and fourth attempts the Protagonist lifted and lowered the lid down while continuously holding it. In the fifth attempt, one of the two dogs either helped or hindered the Protagonist’s attempt to open the box (see Fig 1). During Helping trials, the Helper dog grabbed a corner of the lid, and the two puppets opened the box together. Afterwards, the Protagonist reached for the toy inside the box, and stopped there, while the Helper ran off stage. During Hindering trials, the Hinderer dog slammed the box lid closed, preventing the Protagonist from getting the toy from the box. The Protagonist laid down next to the box without the toy, while the Hinderer ran off stage. Infants were shown Helping and Hindering events alternately. The average duration of each event was approximately 15 s.

Bottom Line: Yet, in our replication attempts, 9-month-olds' preference for helpers over hinderers did not differ significantly from chance (62.5% and 50%, respectively, in Studies 1 and 2).Two types of factors could explain why our results differed from those of Hamlin and Wynn: minor methodological dissimilarities (in procedure, materials, or the population tested), or the effect size being smaller than originally assumed.We conclude that fine methodological details that are crucial to infants' success in this task need to be identified to ensure the replicability of the original result.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Development Center, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
Several studies indicate that infants prefer individuals who act prosocially over those who act antisocially toward unrelated third parties. In the present study, we focused on a paradigm published by Kiley Hamlin and Karen Wynn in 2011. In this study, infants were habituated to a live puppet show in which a protagonist tried to open a box to retrieve a toy placed inside. The protagonist was either helped by a second puppet (the "Helper"), or hindered by a third puppet (the "Hinderer"). At test, infants were presented with the Helper and the Hinderer, and encouraged to reach for one of them. In the original study, 75% of 9-month-olds selected the Helper, arguably demonstrating a preference for prosocial over antisocial individuals. We conducted two studies with the aim of replicating this result. Each attempt was performed by a different group of experimenters. Study 1 followed the methods of the published study as faithfully as possible. Study 2 introduced slight modifications to the stimuli and the procedure following the guidelines generously provided by Kiley Hamlin and her collaborators. Yet, in our replication attempts, 9-month-olds' preference for helpers over hinderers did not differ significantly from chance (62.5% and 50%, respectively, in Studies 1 and 2). Two types of factors could explain why our results differed from those of Hamlin and Wynn: minor methodological dissimilarities (in procedure, materials, or the population tested), or the effect size being smaller than originally assumed. We conclude that fine methodological details that are crucial to infants' success in this task need to be identified to ensure the replicability of the original result.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus