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Video: Babies Express Sympathy Before They Can Talk

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  • Robert Karl Stonjek
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 2013

      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 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 bully—and thus choosing the other shape simply because it seemed safer—the 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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      Robert Karl Stonjek
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