New York Times Covers Infant Food Research

August 21, 2016

Check out this op-ed on our research on the social nature of food in infancy--We find that in addition to being able to use socially-provided information to determine whether a food is edible, infants have an early-emerging ability to link food preferences to cultural group membership. Specifically, infants expected people who were from the same social group (denoted by friendship, or shared language) to be more likely to agree in their food preferences than people who were from different social groups. Interestingly, we also found that infant's own social experiences influenced their expectations about what types of cues likely mark social groups: whereas infants from monolingual backgrounds expected people who spoke different languages to like different foods, infants from multilingual backgrounds were more flexible and inferred that the people could still like the same foods. We also found that infants' expectations about food preferences differ from their expectations about disgust towards food, and that infants' reasoning about foods was qualitatively different than their reasoning about non-food objects. Click the link below to read the full story!

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