Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Cordelia Robinson

Second Advisor

Deana Finkler

Third Advisor

Ross Thompson


The infant enters the world with certain abilities that allow him or her to interact with the environment. Early on infants demonstrate a preference in viewing the human face (Fantz, 1968) and selectively responding to the sounds of human speech (Eimas, Sigueland, Jusczyk, & Vigorito, 1971). The early development of perceptual sensitivities enable the infant to become a partner in the social environment. It has been suggested that the ability to engage in social interactions provides the infant with the structure to organize cognitive and affective experiences (Stern, Beebe, Jaffe, & Bennett, 1977). Through the interaction process the infant first learns such aspects of functioning as the rules governing conversational turn taking (Bateson, 1975; Schaffer, Coll is & Parsons, 1977), attachment to the caregiver (Ainsworth, Bell, & Slayton, 1974; Blehar, Lieberman, & Ainsworth, 1977), problem solving and sociability (Matas, Arend, & Sroufe, 1978; Pastor, 1981), and curiosity and ego control (Arend, Gove, & Sroufe, 1979).


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Included in

Psychology Commons