Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


American Academy of Asian Studies

First Advisor

Carolyn Kohn

First Committee Member

Matthew Normand

Second Committee Member

Henry Schlinger, Jr.

Third Committee Member

Scott Jensen

Fourth Committee Member

James A. Uchizono


Humans tend to view those with similar characteristics to their own more favorably than those with dissimilar characteristics. Mahajan and Wynn (2012) suggest this phenomenon is rooted in an innate preference for similarity to self and is enhanced by the salience of the similar characteristic(s). This conclusion was based on results from a study conducted by Mahajan and Wynn showing that infants who chose a food prior to choosing a puppet (High Salience condition) preferred the puppet with the same food preference, whereas infants who chose a food after choosing a puppet (Low Salience condition) showed no preference based on a single measure of choice. However, their results may have been affected by factors other than infant preference such as parental bias or side bias. The purpose of the present study was to replicate Mahajan and Wynn's (2012) Low Salience condition and extend it by assigning 20 infants and their parents (10 infants/parent dyads per group) to either (a) a between group manipulation in which infants' food preference was made "salient" to parents (but not infants) in only one group, or (b) a within-subject repeated measures of infants' choices. Results suggested that the manipulation may have been insufficient to assess parental bias; however, more infants (75%) chose a puppet presented on one side more often than a particular puppet (e.g., similar or dissimilar) suggesting infants' choices may be more a product of side bias than puppet preference.



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