Own-age biases in adults’ and children’s joint attention: Biased face prioritization, but not gaze following!

Freebody, Susannah and Kuhn, Gustav. 2018. Own-age biases in adults’ and children’s joint attention: Biased face prioritization, but not gaze following! The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(2), pp. 372-379. ISSN 1747-0218 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Previous studies have reported own-age biases in younger and older adults in gaze following. We investigated own-age biases in social attentional processes between adults and children by focusing on two aspects of the joint attention process; the extent to which people attend towards an individual’s face, and the extent to which they fixate objects that are looked at by this person (i.e., gaze following). Participants viewed images that always contained a child and an adult who either looked towards each other or each looked at objects located to their side. Observers consistently, and rapidly fixated the actor’s faces, though the children were faster to fixate the child’s face than the adult’s faces, whilst the adults were faster to fixate on the adult’s face than the child’s face. The children also spent significantly more time fixating the child’s face than the adult’s face, and the opposite pattern of results was found for the adults. Whilst both adults and children prioritized objects when they were looked at by the actor, both groups showed equivalent levels of gaze following, and there was no own-age bias for gaze following. Our results show an own-age bias for prioritizing faces, but not gaze following.

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PMID: 27734758

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26 September 2016Accepted
10 November 2016Published Online
1 February 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2017 13:29

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2020 14:26

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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