Research using the visual cliff
Sorce et al (1985) conducted the same visual cliff research, but this time the mother was instructed to maintain an expression of fear or happiness on the other side of the 'cliff'. When the mother expressed a happy face, the babies checked the cliff and crossed. When the mother showed an expression of fear, the babies were very reluctant to cross.
A recent study has challenged whether the visual cliff is actually measuring depth perception. Witherington et al (2005) noticed in the film footage of earlier experiments that even the youngest infants would brace themselves before touching the shallow end. In their own study, Witherington et al found that the infants with the strongest aversion to the cliff…