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Author Topic:   Babies gravitate toward good Samaritans, study says
AcousticGod
Knowflake

Posts: 11943
From: Pleasanton, CA, USA
Registered: May 2005

posted December 12, 2007 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AcousticGod     Edit/Delete Message
By Tom A. Peter
Wed Dec 12, 3:00 AM ET


Six- and 10-month-old babies are much more capable judges of character than previously thought. Not only can infants pick out a good Samaritan, they tend to identify with them, according to a Yale University study published in the journal Nature.

The study released last month presented babies with a diorama-like display of an anthropomorphic circle struggling to make it up a hill. Just when it appeared that all hope was lost, a heroic triangle appeared, and pushed the circle to the top. The round climber bounces, clearly elated to have reached the summit. The same scenario is played out again, only this time a square appears at the top of the hill and pushes the circle to the bottom.

The babies were then asked to pick a toy the helper or the hinderer, as scientists called them. One hundred percent of 6-month-olds and 87.5 percent of 10-month-olds chose the helper. The results were consistent even when the triangle and the square swapped places as good guy and bad guy. In several other iterations of the experiment, the helper, regardless of shape or color, won out.

"Babies are very competent socially," says Kiley Hamlin, lead author of the study. "They can figure this kind of stuff out without people explicitly teaching what's nice and not nice and who's nice and who's not nice."

In another component of the study, researchers showed the circle choosing to sit with the helper or the hinderer. In this instance they found that 10-month-old babies were far more adept at noticing something seemed strange when the circle decided to sit with the hinderer. (They figured this out by how long the baby watched the helper or hinderer pair up with the circle, working under the assumption that babies, like adults, study something that appears out of the ordinary.)

While other research has shown that babies make assessments about people based on their physical appearance they gravitate toward attractive people these new findings show more complex levels of judgment.

"In any species that needs to cooperate as much as humans do we always need to know who might be a good cooperator and who might not," says Ms. Hamlin.

Copyright 2007 The Christian Science Monitor


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NAM
Knowflake

Posts: 1995
From: Sunny place.
Registered: Jan 2007

posted December 12, 2007 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAM     Edit/Delete Message
Well, I have countless stories about small children being affectionate towards me , I don't even know them and they will come and give me big huge hug just because, I am not sure that it is because of being attractive or not but I think they know who can be kind to them, kind of like a intuition thing.

And their hugs are so sincere some of the best hugs I have ever had.

This is actually the first time in my life I share this... and yes I am feeling a little uncomfortable!

Edit: what I meant to say is that it is not an attractive thing, but that came out all wrong.As I said I think they can sense a friend...????? .... I don't know how to explain it.But it is awsome! Usually kids under 6/7 (the oldest) do this.

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Mirandee
Knowflake

Posts: 4812
From: South of the Thumb - Taurus, Pisces, Cancer
Registered: Sep 2004

posted December 13, 2007 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mirandee     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks, AG. Interesting article.

It's been my experience with babies that yes, they do seem to understand and know very early in life who they can depend on.

I have always felt that babies see beyond the physical appearance of people and actually respond to what they sense or see inside the person.

I think that may be why that in spite of all the other Disney movies where goodness is aligned with attractiveness in the characters Shrek was such a big hit with kids. That movie may further prove this study to be correct. It's actually goodness that kids see or sense in people that attract them. Not their physical appearance.

Pretty is as pretty does seems to apply to all children at very young ages in life.

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taurus/gemini cusp
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Posts: 647
From: London, England
Registered: Sep 2006

posted December 13, 2007 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taurus/gemini cusp     Edit/Delete Message
Yay!!! Babies and kids love me!!!!! I must be a goodie really!!!

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NAM
Knowflake

Posts: 1995
From: Sunny place.
Registered: Jan 2007

posted December 13, 2007 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAM     Edit/Delete Message
^ I don't know if that is all true, for the last couple days I have been thinking about this post and try to figure out if that can be true.
Taken my mom as an example, she is pretty bitter with her life but she will be the first one to spot a child in trouble (like when kids get lost at stores etc) yet he doesn't attract kids they are actually pretty scare of her if she starts talking to them.
My dad can be a loving bear, he is kind and just all lovable you would think kids would love him too but he doesn't attract kids either...

I think my head is spinning now.

I was also remembering when I was younger (my teens) and I had to take care of all my nephews and nieces and they would always come to bother me or just look for me to pick on me, I would get so annoyed I would take them to the bathroom , carry them from the feet upside down and act like I was going to dunk them in the toilet.But they were never scare LOL

Yeap, this post has me thinking LOL

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Geocosmic Valentine
Knowflake

Posts: 597
From: New York, NY
Registered: Sep 2007

posted December 13, 2007 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Geocosmic Valentine     Edit/Delete Message
Hi NAM,

If you remember, from your chart, the first thing that shows up is how giving you are and how nurturing you are, almost to a fault. You also have a huge strong focus in Cancer which is the nurturer, children are definitely going to sense that, so it's not ego on your part to recognize that. Also, those kids could feel that you were not going to dunk them in the toilet, they probably thought it was funny and fun.

Geocosmic Valentine

------------------
"Everybody is a star!"
Sly & The Family Stone

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NAM
Knowflake

Posts: 1995
From: Sunny place.
Registered: Jan 2007

posted December 13, 2007 09:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NAM     Edit/Delete Message
Hi geo, yes... I was waiting for other Cancers to say something about that, the weird part is that before I had my kids I really didn't like kids all that much.Not like now anyway...

See, now I want another baby or a monkey

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Xena
Moderator

Posts: 398
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2006

posted December 14, 2007 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Xena     Edit/Delete Message
I remember when I was doing a course with my now ex-h and a girl in a class at college had had a baby. She brought it in when it was a week old and it was passed round for us to hold. My ex-h absolutely loved children and, straightaway it was put into his arms, started making silly faces at it. The baby chirped and gurgled like there was no tomorrow. Then he passed it on to me. I'm afraid I don't really love babies or children, and all I could think of was the baby's head being the size of a very large grapefruit, and what a horrendous effort it must have been to push out (my ex-h was trying to pressurize me to have kids at the time). I sort of sat there with a sinking feeling and the baby in my arms, and it started crying, so I thought, oh God, pass it on to the next person, this is clearly not my vocation in life!!

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Mirandee
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Posts: 4812
From: South of the Thumb - Taurus, Pisces, Cancer
Registered: Sep 2004

posted December 14, 2007 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mirandee     Edit/Delete Message
LOL Xena

I used to babysit a lot in my teens and all the kids I watched were total brats. I never wanted kids either.

That changed when I had my first baby and held him in my arms.

Kids are a lot of work and worry and they can drive you nuts at times but they are wonderful. They can brighten the worse day with the funny things they do and say and an " I love you" and hug out of the blue. They rekindle the imagination and it's wonderful seeing life through the eyes of a child.

The greatest lesson that children teach us is what unconditional love is all about. Not to mention patience.

I never wanted kids but after having them and my grandkids I realize how very empty my life would have been without them.

I am not saying that everyone should have kids or would live an empty life without them. I just know my kids and my grand kids have fulfilled my life.

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tuxedo meow
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Posts: 878
From: Texas Gulf Coast, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted December 14, 2007 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tuxedo meow     Edit/Delete Message
children, animals, and babies know me while i seem to make many adults uneasy.

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