Yale University graduate student J. Kiley Hamlin conducted an experiment in which 16 ten-month-old babies were asked to watch a climber character attempt to ascend a hill. On two occasions, the baby witnesses the character fail to make the climb. On the third attempt, the baby witnesses either a helper toy push the character up the hill, or a hinderer toy preventing the character from making the ascent. The helper and hinderer toys were shown to each baby in a random fashion for a fixed amount of time.
In Problem 41 from Section 10.2, we learned that, after watching both the helper and hinderer toy in action, 14 of 16 ten-month-old babies preferred to play with the helper toy when given a choice as to which toy to play with. A second part of this experiment showed the climber approach the helper toy, which is not a surprising action, and then alternatively the climber approached the hinderer toy, which is a surprising action.
The amount of time the ten-month-old watched the event was recorded. The mean difference in time spent watching the climber approach the hinderer toy versus watching the climber approach the helper toy was 1.14 seconds with a standard deviation of 1.75 second.
(a) State the null and alternative hypothesis to determine if babies tend to look at the hinderer toy longer than the helper toy.
(b) Assuming the differences are normally distributed with no outliers, test if the difference in the amount of time the baby will watch the hinderer toy versus the helper toy is greater than 0 at the 0.05 level of significance.
(c) What do you think the results of this experiment imply about 10-month-olds’ ability to assess surprising behavior?

  • CreatedApril 28, 2015
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