Young Children's Interest in Animals

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

Documentation and investigation of the degree and nature of infants' and young children's interest in non-human animals, as well as the effect of the use of animal illustrations to foster learning of various types of information. One major purpose of the research is to examine the extent to which infants prefer to look at non-human animals versus other types of stimuli. The second purpose is to investigate the use of materials depicting animals in teaching children various kinds of information with the goal of seeing whether animal illustrations help young children learn.

Setting: 

The initial research will be conducted in a laboratory designed to do studies with infants and very young children. Later studies will take place in local preschools.

Research Design: 

The research design for this project is both cross-sectional, and is designed to generate evidence that is associative/correlational, and causal using experimental methods. This project collects original data using personal observation, videography, and paper and pencil self-completion questionnaires.

Findings: 

The key finding to date is the documentation of a very high level of interest on the part of infants and young children in both live animals and depictions and films of animals.

Publications & Presentations: 

A MANUSCRIPT REPORTING THE FIRST STUDY IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW FOR PUBLICATION IN A PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL.