Children have a sense of justice from just one year old and expect offenders to be punished
- Toddlers of 18 months expect leaders to act when someone breaks the rules
- Children understand not only good and evil, but also the role of those responsible
- Study done by professor Renee Baillargeon and her team at the University of Illinois
Children have a sense of justice from the age of just one, expecting offenders to be punished by those in charge.
Toddlers from 16 to 18 months expect leaders such as parents and teachers to act when someone breaks the rules, a study of 120 children suggests.
It shows that children, before they can form sentences, understand not only good and evil, but also the role of those responsible for maintaining them.
Researchers tested toddlers using a puppet show with teddy bears, where a bear from a & # 39; culprit & # 39; took all the toys for himself and did not share.
Insight: Toddlers from 16 to 18 months expect leaders like parents and teachers to act when someone breaks the rules, suggests a study of 120 children
When the "leader" bear was unable to punish this crime, the young children stared at the stage longer – what they do when they see something unexpected.
But when the leader intervened to give the bear who had missed a toy, the children looked away about nine seconds earlier, showing that the events had gone the way they thought they should.
Renee Baillargeon, professor of psychology, who led the study at the University of Illinois, said: "Babies stared longer when the leader ignored misconduct than when they corrected it.
& # 39; This suggests that babies & # 39; s expected the leader to intervene and correct the wrong in her group, and that they were surprised when she did not take such action. & # 39;
Children realized what the leader was in the bear show after that doll had told two other bears to look ahead or back, and they did.
Then the leader brought two toys for the bears to share, the malicious bear grabbing both for himself, so the victim bear lost.
When the leader bear retrieved the toy from the culprit and handed it to the victim, the children in the investigation looked at it for almost 10 seconds. But when the leader did not take action, approached the bears but did not take any toys back, they showed apparent surprise by staring for nearly 20 seconds.
Experts now believe that children are determined to expect leaders to do justice, probably because of our caveman days in which we had to work together to find food and shelter.
Outlook: Experts now believe that children are determined to expect leaders to manage justice, probably because of our caveman days in which we had to work together to find food and shelter, and it was vital that the leader crackdown on someone who was selfish acted
The same pattern was repeated in a puppet show where the leader bear was one and a half times taller and had a top hat to show that they were in charge.
When the bears were equal, with no leader and no action in response to misconduct, toddlers were looking for a shorter time.
In a third experiment, where a bear & # 39; no, thanks & # 39; said to the toy, making it acceptable for the second bear to take both, most people would not expect a leader to intervene. Indeed, toddlers were surprised and seemed longer as the leader took action in this circumstance.
This suggests that they only expect action if someone has done something moral wrong.
The study, published in the Proceedings journal of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes: & # 39; baby & # 39; s thus already attributing unique responsibilities to leaders, including correcting errors. & # 39 ;
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