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What’s in a looking time preference?


Bergmann,  Christina
Language Development Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Bergmann, C., Rabagliati, H., & Tsuji, S. (2019). What’s in a looking time preference? PsyArXiv Preprints. doi:10.31234/osf.io/6u453.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-8AAC-D
Looking time preference methods are an ubiquitous tool for tapping into infants' early skills and knowledge. However, predicting what preference infants will show in these paradigms can be difficult, and studies investigating the same ability oftentimes report opposing patterns of preference. For example, most studies investigating infant pattern learning report preferences for novel stimuli, but some report preference for familiar stimuli. How should such differences in preference direction be interpreted? One possibility is that any statistically significant preference is evidence for discrimination, such that all preferences provide similar evidential value. But another possibility is that the less-frequent preferences are so-called “sign errors”, in which a result is statistically significant, but the estimated effect size has the incorrect sign, e.g., showing a familiarity rather than novelty preference. In this paper, we use meta-analytic methods and statistical modeling to examine whether, when literatures show a heterogeneous pattern of looking time preferences, those preferences provide consistent evidential value, or whether one direction of preference may be a sign error.
[Summary of included meta-analyses, results, implications]