Scientists have solved the dilemma of: "how have we survived as intensely social creatures if our sociability makes us vulnerable to being cheated and exploited?" These quirky studies never cease to amaze me. Babies really do understand a whole lot more than we think. I can attest to that with my little ones. I am sure you can to. Sometimes they do things that don't seem possible at their age!
FROM SCIENCE DAILY:
While previous research shows that babies uniformly prefer kind acts, the new study published Nov. 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that eight month-old infants support negative behavior if it is directed at those who act antisocially -- and dislike those who are nice to bad guys.
"We find that, by eight months, babies have developed nuanced views of reciprocity and can conduct these complex social evaluations much earlier than previously thought," says lead author Prof. Kiley Hamlin, UBC Dept of Psychology, who co-authored the study with colleagues from Yale University and Temple University.
"This study helps to answer questions that have puzzled evolutionary psychologists for decades," says Hamlin. "Namely, how have we survived as intensely social creatures if our sociability makes us vulnerable to being cheated and exploited? These findings suggest that, from as early as eight months, we are watching for people who might put us in danger and prefer to see antisocial behavior regulated."
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