Today we invite you to view, observe and engage in conversation about the still face experiment. Below you will find two short clips, one with a mother and one with a father.
The still face experiment was developed by Edward Tronick in 1975, where a mother looks at her baby, and is asked to hold a ‘still face.’ The mother does not react to the baby’s behaviors. The reactions of the baby are observed. Dr. Tronick described a situation where an infant, after three minutes of “interaction” with a non-responsive, blank-faced mother, “rapidly sobers and grows wary. He makes repeated attempts to get the interaction into its usual reciprocal pattern. When these attempts fail, the infant withdraws [and] orients his face and body away from his mother with a withdrawn, hopeless facial expression.”
(Tronick, Adamson, Als, & Brazelton, 1975)