New Scientist reports on the wisdom of babes. Six-month-olds are able to recognize who’s really on their side and who’s trying to do them wrong, even though you might think they were only born yesterday:
Researchers say the findings reveal that humans begin making social evaluations far earlier than previously thought.
“This is the very first experiment in anywhere near this age that shows babies develop preferences for individuals based on their actions,” says Karen Wynn at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, US, who led the study.
Wynn and her colleagues studied the reactions of infants to a sketch in which a brightly coloured wooden block with goggly eyes attempts to climb up a hill.
Other block-puppets helped with the climb, or got in the way. And the babies, given a choice which blocks to fumble around with and drool on, went for the helpers. Because they wouldn’t mind so much, I guess.