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The Attention-Getting Capacity of Whines and Child-Directed Speech:

The Attention-Getting Capacity of Whines and Child-Directed Speech: The current study tested the ability of whines and child-directed speech to attract the attention of listeners involved in a story repetition task. Twenty non-parents and 17 parents were presented with two dull stories, each playing to a separate ear, and asked to repeat one of the stories verbatim. The story that participants were instructed to ignore was interrupted occasionally with the reader whining and using child-directed speech. While repeating the passage, participants were monitored for Galvanic skin response, heart rate, and blood pressure. Based on 4 measures, participants tuned in more to whining, and to a lesser extent child-directed speech, than neutral speech segments that served as a control. Participants, regardless of gender or parental status, made more mistakes when presented with the whine or child-directed speech, they recalled hearing those vocalizations, they recognized more words from the whining segment than the neutral control segment, and they exhibited higher Galvanic skin response during the presence of whines and child-directed speech than neutral speech segments. Whines and child-directed speech appear to be integral members of a suite of vocalizations designed to get the attention of attachment partners by playing to an auditory sensitivity among humans. Whines in particular may serve the function of eliciting care at a time when caregivers switch from primarily mothers to greater care from other caregivers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

The Attention-Getting Capacity of Whines and Child-Directed Speech:

The Attention-Getting Capacity of Whines and Child-Directed Speech:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 8 (2): 1 – Apr 1, 2010

Abstract

The current study tested the ability of whines and child-directed speech to attract the attention of listeners involved in a story repetition task. Twenty non-parents and 17 parents were presented with two dull stories, each playing to a separate ear, and asked to repeat one of the stories verbatim. The story that participants were instructed to ignore was interrupted occasionally with the reader whining and using child-directed speech. While repeating the passage, participants were monitored for Galvanic skin response, heart rate, and blood pressure. Based on 4 measures, participants tuned in more to whining, and to a lesser extent child-directed speech, than neutral speech segments that served as a control. Participants, regardless of gender or parental status, made more mistakes when presented with the whine or child-directed speech, they recalled hearing those vocalizations, they recognized more words from the whining segment than the neutral control segment, and they exhibited higher Galvanic skin response during the presence of whines and child-directed speech than neutral speech segments. Whines and child-directed speech appear to be integral members of a suite of vocalizations designed to get the attention of attachment partners by playing to an auditory sensitivity among humans. Whines in particular may serve the function of eliciting care at a time when caregivers switch from primarily mothers to greater care from other caregivers.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491000800209
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The current study tested the ability of whines and child-directed speech to attract the attention of listeners involved in a story repetition task. Twenty non-parents and 17 parents were presented with two dull stories, each playing to a separate ear, and asked to repeat one of the stories verbatim. The story that participants were instructed to ignore was interrupted occasionally with the reader whining and using child-directed speech. While repeating the passage, participants were monitored for Galvanic skin response, heart rate, and blood pressure. Based on 4 measures, participants tuned in more to whining, and to a lesser extent child-directed speech, than neutral speech segments that served as a control. Participants, regardless of gender or parental status, made more mistakes when presented with the whine or child-directed speech, they recalled hearing those vocalizations, they recognized more words from the whining segment than the neutral control segment, and they exhibited higher Galvanic skin response during the presence of whines and child-directed speech than neutral speech segments. Whines and child-directed speech appear to be integral members of a suite of vocalizations designed to get the attention of attachment partners by playing to an auditory sensitivity among humans. Whines in particular may serve the function of eliciting care at a time when caregivers switch from primarily mothers to greater care from other caregivers.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2010

Keywords: Whining; child-directed speech; parental investment; attachment vocalizations; attention; psychophysiology

References