A new study by researchers at University of Washington suggests that babies as young as 15 months old have the ability to know what is fair and unfair.
Researchers led by Jessica Sommerville conducted the study on 15-month-old babies by showing two short videos. The first one depicted the sharing of a bowl of crackers equally between two people and then one of them getting more than the other. The second video showed a similar example of sharing milk.
The researchers then measured how long the babies looked at how the food had been shared and found that they watched more keenly when unequal sharing of the food items were shown. Dr Sommerville said that the babies were surprised by the unequal sharing of the food and hence watched it longer.
"These results also show a connection between fairness and altruism in infants, such that babies who were more sensitive to the fair distribution of food were also more likely to share their preferred toy", Dr Sommerville said.