Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Laura Lakusta

Committee Member

David Townsend

Committee Member

Meredyth Krych-Appelbaum


In this paper, the asymmetry between source and goal was explored in the context of motion events involving inanimate figures (e.g. balloon, tissue). Past research with infants has indicated a preference for goal paths in animate events, such as a duck walking into a box, over source paths, such as a duck walking out of a box (Lakusta, et ah, 2007). The difference between a goal bias for animate and inanimate events has not been thoroughly researched in infants (e.g., a balloon, rather than a duck, moving out of a box). In order to explore this, the current study measures the looking times as 14- and 18- month old infants view goal and source events presented on a screen. Results (N=26) indicate a statistically significant preference for goal events over source events. If infants show a goal bias for inanimate events, then these pre-linguistic representations may be the basis for learning language, since language also shows a goal bias for both animate and inanimate events. Further research is needed to test the strength of this bias in inanimate events versus animate events.

File Format


Included in

Psychology Commons