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

  • CARMEL HOUSTON-PRICE (a1), EMILY MATHER (a1) and ELENA SAKKALOU (a2)
Abstract
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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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Carmel Houston-Price, School of Psychology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AL, UK. Email: c.houston-price@reading.ac.uk. Tel: 0118 378 5378. Fax: 0118 9316715.
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Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
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