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December 2022

Comparison of infant preferences and responses to auditory stimuli: Music, mother and other female voice

Author(s): Madsen, C. K.

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1990; Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. National Association for Music Therapy 8455 Colesville Rd., Suite 930 20910 Silver Spring, Maryland USA. journal article.

Abstract: Twenty-four infants ages 2.0 to 8.0 months completed an operant listening task measuring preference for mother's voice versus other female voice versus music using a mercury switch attached to their foot. Dependent measures were seconds of listening time, number of preference changes per interval, and behavior analysis of videotaped infant responses using computerized data recorded in 1-second intervals. Results indicated that the babies did discriminate. Babies began manipulating the mercury switch in the first experimental condition (F=2.96; df =5, p< .05). Overall, the mother's voice was most preferred (M=193.8 seconds) followed by the other female voice (M=174.1 seconds), and music (M=172-1), although these differences were not statistically significant. A significant interaction was found between age and preference, with younger babies preferring the mother's voice and older babies equally preferring the mother and other female voices (F=3.9, df=2, p< .05). Videotaped observation analysis showed that babies listened more intently to music than to the other stimuli.

Keyword(s): infant, infant-behavior, preferred-music, music-responses, auditory-stimuli, music, mother, voice, female, operand-preference, behavioral-analysis.

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