Babies’ People Sense

Published on: July 15, 2010

Filled Under: Ask the Reader (YOU), Resources

Views: 1070

This is very interesting…

In her just released book, Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, Ellen Galinsky talked about “amazing babies.” She gave an example of how babies have people sense: “they focus on people’s intentions rather than seeing what people do as random movements in space.” By six months, they can tell the difference between people who are helpful and those who are not.

To illustrate this, Galinsky described the results of a study done at Yale University in which babies are shown a puppet show where a round circle with big eyes tries to reach the top of a hill and is helped up to the top by a square but pushed down by a triangle. After a baby viewed the show, a tray with the square and the triangle was placed in front of him or her to see which one she or he reaches for. Would t he six-month-old reach for the helpful shape or the unhelpful shape, or would there be no pattern. Here was what the researchers reported:

“We found impressively that almost one hundred percent of the babies in a number of different studies preferred the more helpful character.”

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