Babies Understand Friendship, Meanies And Bystanders, Study Says

By: Stephanie Pappas
Published: 02/05/2015 10:15 AM EST on LiveScience

Babies who are just over a year old already comprehend complex social interactions — they understand what other people know and don’t know, and expect them to behave accordingly, new research shows.

In the new study, 13-month-olds who watched a puppet show in which one character witnessed another behaving badly expected the witness to shun the villain. But the babies did not expect a shunning if the villain acted badly when the witness wasn’t looking.

Even at this young age, the babies were mostly very intrigued by the drama, said Yuyan Luo a psychologist at the University of Missouri and co-author of the study.

“Almost all babies look really concerned when they see the puppet violence,” Luo told Live Science.

Social smarts

In the study, the two characters — call them A and B — interacted in a friendly manner, but then B hit a third character, C.

“Babies think A should do something about it if they see B do something bad,” Luo said. [That's Incredible! 9 Brainy Baby Abilities]

Before they can even talk and walk, babies seem —> Read More Here


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