A new research by psychologists at the Tufts University in Boston has revealed that children as young as 12 months old are influenced by emotions displayed on television. They also use emotional information picked up from adults around them to make decisions.
Donna Mumme, assistant professor of psychology at Tufts University, and her team tested babies, showing actors reacting on a videotape to objects such as a red spiral letter holder, a blue bumpy ball, and a yellow garden hose attachment. Babies aged 10 months or 12 months were later given the same objects to play with. They observed that the 12 month olds played happily with the objects if the actor had acted neutrally or positively to an object, while the infants would avoid the objects if the actor has seemed afraid or disgusted. However this behaviour was not exhibited by ten month-olds.
Donna Mumme concluded that this study would help parents who might now want to think twice before they speak in a harsh or surprising tone or let an infant see television programs meant for an older person.