Monday, February 11, 2013

Are babies born good?




This is the question in the cover of the past January issue of Smithsonian magazine. They explore the controversial science of human morality in that issue.  
Born to be bad talks about who we are in our core, before societal rules are imposed or understood. They recruit babies and toddlers and test their attitudes on helping others and if they have an innate sense of right and wrong. They use puppets and create scenarios in which the 'tiny subjects' are challenged to make the choices between a bad guy and a good guy.
They also designed experiments where they could choose to help, without reward and even interrupting or stopping a pleasurable activity. Other scenarios had the babies in situations where they could help, regardless if the person was even aware they needed of a hand. Is a new science and there are a lot more experiments needed but the results are surprising, fascinating and revolutionary and like good science with more room to grow and experiment. You can check the full article online here.
It reminds me of the marshmallow experiment. I can't wait for Orion to be old enough to see if he will pass.
If he is a sugar junkie like me, I seriously doubt it.
Here is a video of the experiment:


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