Babies can make sense of complex social situations, study

Babies can make sense of complex social situations, study

According to a new study, young babies are capable of making sense of complex social situations through their understanding about others' minds and social evaluation skills.

Psychological scientists and study authors You-jung Choi and Yuyan Luo of the University of Missouri, said in a news release that, "Our findings show that 13-month-olds can make sense of social situations using their understanding about others' minds and social evaluation skills. The research is innovative in that we show that infants are able to construe social situations from different participants' perspectives."

For the study, the team studied 48 infants who were around 1 year old. The babies were invited into the lab for the experiment and they sat on parent's lap, facing a little stage where hand puppets would appear.

Two puppets appeared on the stage and clapped their hands or hopped around together. The infants were able to familiarize themselves with the characters and found that that both were friendly with each other. After that, the infants were shown asocial scenario. In the first scenario, infants saw a third puppet, who was deliberately knocked down by B, as A looked form the side, in second instance, the third puppet was knocked downbut A wasn't there and in the third instance, the third pupped is accidentally knocked and A is looking from the side.

They noted the time an infant spent on gazing as a way to determine expectations. Infants do not gaze at boring or insignificant things for long but unusual or unexpected things attract their attention for a period of time. The infants reacted to the three presented scenes differently. Choi and Luo concluded that infants have strong feelings about how people deal with each other.

The study was published in the Psychological Science


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