Feature or location? Infants and adults adopt different strategies to search for a hidden toy in an ambiguous task

Katalin Oláh, Krisztina Kupán, Andor Csík, Ildikó Király, József Topál

Research output: Article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that infants and adults attribute different importance to certain object properties when performing object-directed actions. Namely, infants tend to rely on information about an object's location, whereas adults are more likely to base their actions on its features. In this study, we tested whether the strategic choices of infants (aged 13 months) and adults would be modified by the context of the demonstration. Participants watched as an experimenter hid a ball under one of two different coloured containers, using either a communicative or a non-communicative manner. Then, the locations of the two containers were changed out of sight of the participant. During the test, participants were encouraged to look for the ball under one of the containers. We found that adults were more likely to follow a feature-based strategy than infants. However, there was no effect of the context of the demonstration, suggesting that communication may play different roles in encoding object properties and directing overt behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Publication statusPublished - nov. 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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