Still Face Experiment: Dr. Edward Tronick

>> Babies this young are
extremely responsive to the emotions
and the reactivity and the social
interaction that they get from
the world around them. This is something that
we started studying 30, 40 years ago when people didn't
think that infants could engage in
social interaction. In the "still face"
experiment, what the mother did
was she sits down and she's playing with her baby
who is about a year of age… >> Are you my
good girl? Oh, yes… >> (Tronick, voiceover)
And she gives a
greeting to the baby, the baby gives a
greeting back to her.
>> Dah! >> (Tronick, voiceover)
This baby starts pointing at
different places in the world and the mother is trying to
engage her and play with her.

They're working to
coordinate their emotions and their intentions, what
they want to do in the world. And that's really what
the baby is used to. And then, we asked the mother
to not respond to the baby. The baby very quickly
picks up on this, and then she uses all
of her abilities to try and get the
mother back. She smiles at
the mother. She points because
she's used to the mother looking where
she points.

>> Dah! >> (Tronick, voiceover)
The baby puts both hands
up in front of her and says, "What's happening here?" (baby whining) She makes that screechy sound
at the mother, like, "Come on! "Why aren't
we doing this?" (baby screaming) Even in this
two minutes when they don't get
the normal reaction, they react with negative
emotions, they turn away, they feel
the stress of it.

They actually lose
control of their posture because of the stress that
they are experiencing. (baby crying) >> Okay… Maggie… I'm here. And what are
you doing? Oh, yes–
oh, what a big girl. >> It's a little like "the good,
the bad, and the ugly." The good is that normal
stuff that goes on, that we all do
with our kids. The bad is when
something bad happens but the infant
can overcome it. After all, when you
stop the still face, the mother and the baby
start to play again.

The ugly is when you don't
give the child any chance to get back
to the good. There's no reparation
and they're stuck in that really
ugly situation..

As found on YouTube