Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wallace E. Dixon, Jr.

Committee Members

Alyson Chroust, Eric Sellers


The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether developmental researchers were influenced in the laboratory by the characteristics of children who participate in their research. I hypothesized that experimenters, as social partners, would adapt their speaking and other behaviors to the child’s perceived temperamental profile and language proficiency. I specifically focused on whether experimenters would adhere to the experimental laboratory procedure of two elicited imitation tasks, Feed Bear and Make a Rattle, in an archival dataset. Participants included 61 primarily white 15-month-olds. Coders transcribed infant directed speech (IDS) and analyzed transcriptions for total words, words per sentence, and percentage of words with six or more letters. The present study revealed differential correlational findings across temperamental dimensions, experimenter IDS, and elicited imitation tasks. An investigation of this kind provides new information concerning procedural fidelity and how experimenters may be influenced by their child research participants.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.