Let’s Play Nice

| 11/30/2007 8:49:57 AM

A new study from Yale University suggests that babies as young as six-months old can tell the difference between helpful and unhelpful creatures. Not surprisingly, Roxanne Khamsi reports for the New Scientist, they prefered the helpful ones. To discover this, the researchers put on a puppet show and tested the infants’ reactions. The show starred a wooden block with eyes, struggling with to make its way up a hill, while another block either helpfully pushes it up the hill or aggressively shoves it back down. Almost all the babies in the experiment preferred the helping blocks. Take a look at the video to see the adorable experiment in action:

In order to make sense of the experiment, the babies needed to know that the block wanted to go up the hill. This suggests that babies are able to understand other people’s intentions long before they can mutter their first word. The study also suggests that that very early in human development, people learn to like nice people.

Brendan Mackie


12/4/2007 6:21:27 PM

But what about unhelpful babies? They're EVERYWHERE! It's an epidemic! And some people actually prefer them to helpful babies, especially if they are the unhelpful tykes' parents.

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