About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Ability to Evaluate People Starts from Infancy: Study

by Medindia Content Team on November 24, 2007 at 7:51 PM
Font : A-A+

Ability to Evaluate People Starts from Infancy: Study

In the first evidence of its kind to date, Yale researchers find that infants prefer individuals who help others to those who either do nothing, or interfere with others' goals, it is reported today in Nature.

"This supports the view that our ability to evaluate people is a biological adaptation—universal and unlearned," said the authors of the study.

Advertisement

The study included six-and-10-month-old babies whose preferences were determined by recording which of two actors they reached towards.

In the first experiment, infants saw a wooden character with large glued-on eyes known as "The Climber." At first, the climber rested at the bottom of a hill. The climber repeatedly tried without success to make it up the hill and was then either helped to the top by a triangular character that pushed the climber from behind, or hindered by a square character that pushed the climber down the hill.
Advertisement

During the test phase—after the infants had sufficiently processed the events—the researchers measured the infants' attitudes towards the helper and hinderer by seeing which characters they reached for. Fourteen of the 16 10-month-olds, and all 12 six-month-olds, preferred the helper. A second experiment ruled out the possibility that the infants were merely responding to the direction in which the figures were moving. In a third experiment, infants of both ages preferred a helper to a neutral party, and then a neutral party over one who hindered.

"The presence of social evaluation so early in infancy suggests that assessing individuals by the nature of their interactions with others is central to processing the social world, both evolutionarily and developmentally," the authors stated.

The ability to tell helpful from unhelpful people, and to favor the former, said the authors, was undoubtedly essential in activities such as group hunting, food sharing, and warfare. These abilities may also provide the starting point for moral reasoning and the development of abstract concepts of right and wrong. The infants' evaluations were based solely on what they witnessed as bystanders, and not on their own relationships or experiences with any of the figures.

The authors said the next step would be to determine the complexity of this understanding—for example, to explore whether infants prefer to interact with those who punish hinderers to those who reward them.

Source: Eurekalert
SRM/P
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Infants, Toddlers Exposed to Prenatal Stress Face Sleep Problems
Anxious or depressed mothers-to-be are at increased risk of having children who will experience ......
Shaking may Cause Serious Long-term Effects to Infants
A group of interns of the Teaching Maternity Unit of "The University College of Health Care of the ....
Tight Socks Causes Lesions in Infants
Socks with tight elastic bands may cause lesions on legs of infants according to a research study .....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use