Concept

Preferential looking

Summary
Preferential looking is an experimental method in developmental psychology used to gain insight into the young mind/brain. The method as used today was developed by the developmental psychologist Robert L. Fantz in the 1960s. The Preferential Looking Technique According to the American Psychological Association, the preferential looking technique is "an experimental method for assessing the perceptual capabilities of nonverbal individuals (e.g., human infants, nonhuman animals)". If the average infant looks longer at a novel stimulus compared to a familiar stimulus, this suggests that the infant can discriminate between the stimuli. This method has been used extensively in cognitive science and developmental psychology to assess the character of infants' perceptual systems, and, by extension, innate cognitive faculties. An investigator or examiner observes an infant's eye movements to determine which stimulus the infant fixates on. Robert L. Fantz Robert L. Fantz
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