From The Mouths of Babes: Study Finds That Babies Copy The Most “Reliable” Adults

Ever marvel at how your baby mimicked your spouse? Now you know that the baby was not just copying your spouse but rejecting you as “unreliable.” A new study of behavior in babies found that they sized up parents and adults before choosing who to copy — rejecting some as not credible or reliable.

The study involved watching 60 babies over 16 months — that is a lot of diapers but what they found was pretty incredible. If an adult has previously displayed unreliable or dishonest behavior, the study found babies tended not to copy that adult’s mannerisms and speech. The unreliable experimenters in the study did things like give babies a box to explore and the babies found the box was empty. The reliable experimenters were able to get the babies to tun on a push light with their foreheads instead of their hands.

I wonder which of the presidential candidates would be mimicked by a baby? That could be finally a way of sorting out the pack.

Of course, now 30 people will go through life turning on lights and televisions with their foreheads.

Source: LiveScience as first seen on Reddit

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8 thoughts on “From The Mouths of Babes: Study Finds That Babies Copy The Most “Reliable” Adults

  1. Of course, not 30 people will go through life turning on lights and televisions with their foreheads……..

    It has been my experience……that…..

  2. I’d suggest using groups of babies to vet Presidential candidates to find a reliable one. Only problem being that after that experience the babies would be so damaged that it would be better if they didn’t go on.

  3. Dredd,

    Liked your column.

    My first thought on reading this and following back the links is that I wonder if they allowed for the sex of the trusted vs. untrusted individual. If not then possibly what we are seeing is an innate identification with the infants own sex. This would explain the phenomena of division of sexual preferences that start in infancy. My two girls were attracted to “girlie” things from infancy over and above any prompting my wife and I may have given inadvertently. I’ve seen the same with my male grandchildren..

  4. Mike Spindell 1, December 13, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Dredd,

    Liked your column.

    My first thought on reading this and following back the links is that I wonder if they allowed for the sex of the trusted vs. untrusted individual. If not then possibly what we are seeing is an innate identification with the infants own sex. This would explain the phenomena of division of sexual preferences that start in infancy. My two girls were attracted to “girlie” things from infancy over and above any prompting my wife and I may have given inadvertently. I’ve seen the same with my male grandchildren..
    ================================
    Thanks.

    No doubt gender is a strong player in the vast subterranean world we call the subconscious, as well as being a player in the smaller realm of cognition we call the conscious.

    Some recent discoveries in that department are putting various textbooks on the endangered list (for example leiolepis ngovantrii).

    My grandchildren are so mystical to me in many ways.

    For example, the way their consciousness, personality, and their unique being grows, then flows seemingly from nothing but space and time to eventually appear as flashes of delight to the old grandpa.

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