Researchers have found that toddlers are more comforted by their mothers via video chat than they are through audio alone.And video chat appears to be, conceptually, much easier for babies to grasp than a phone conversation.“It turns out that babies are really bad with phones,” Barr said.
While interfaces like Skype, Face Time, and Google Hangout are still relatively new, this area of research builds on decades of experiments involving children and electronic screens.
And there’s no way for the baby to know the person can’t see them.”These sorts of challenges in logic and reasoning exist not just for babies but for older kids, too, all the way up to around the time a child is in second grade.
“Previous observational research has shown that children under 7 have trouble using phones—and babies and toddlers in particular have trouble with it,” Mc Clure said. There are a lot of cognitive skills that go into understanding what a disembodied voice represents.”More broadly, watching how babies handle interactions that are separated by a screen is one way to get at the question of how they process and understand their surroundings in general.
“Really tiny babies pick up on the social responsiveness of a person.
If there’s something wacky about it, it bothers them.”Study after study has demonstrated that when the natural timing in an interaction lags, it can “really hurt a baby’s ability to learn,” said Rachel Barr, a developmental psychologist at Georgetown.