Video: Babies Express Sympathy Before They Can Talk by Susan Langthorp on 12 June 2013, 5:00 PM Babies don t need to be able to talk to express sympathy. When
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, Jun 15
Express Sympathy Before They Can Talk
by Susan Langthorp on
12 June 2013, 5:00 PM
need to be able to talk to express sympathy. When scientists showed 10-month-old
infants the video above, three-quarters of them reached out for the yellow cube
at the end. That's the one that gets "beaten up" by the blue ball in this
geometric stand-in for a human fight. When the roles were reversed and the
yellow cube was the attacker, the babies reached out for the blue ball instead.
To see if the infants were merely afraid of the bullyand thus choosing the
other shape simply because it seemed saferthe team introduced a cylinder into
the video; the kids still reached for the object that got "hurt," the
researchers report online today in PLOS ONE, suggesting that our
concern for other people begins before we can express it in words. Feeling
sorry for the victim, the team reports, is the beginning of fully developed
sympathy for others that will show later in childhood.
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