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The Looking Chamber Experiment, Robert Fantz, 1961

The Looking Chamber Experiment, Robert Fantz, 1961

Book Title

Essays in Developmental Psychology

Document Type


Publication Date



Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


experimental observation, infant perception, looking chamber experiment, observational studies, perception and cognition, Robert Fantz, stimuli response, visual acuity



The Looking Chamber Experiment refers to a series of studies performed by Robert Fantz in 1961. Before the work of Fantz, little research was conducted on infant perception. There was presupposition that infants held the ability to perceive light, color and movement, yet, lacked the ability to respond to complex stimulus (i.e. shape, pattern, size, or solidity). Fantz and his colleagues were specifically interested in finding the degree in which babies can perceive form to categorize their current environment. They created their research techniques on past observational studies with chicks and chimpanzees. To look at the visual abilities of infants, researchers followed eye activity to examine the way infants recognize different forms and their preference, if any.

Additional Information

This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.




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The Looking Chamber Experiment, Robert Fantz, 1961