The research indicates that our perception of good and bad and right and wrong is not only learned, but is part of our make-up.
The study looked at 100 babies in three age groups. The babies - aged five months, eight months, and 19 months and older - were observed as to how they responded to puppets mistreating each other in a puppet show.
The babies consistently preferred the puppet who had stood up to the bad characters. Professor Kiley Hamlin, from the University of British Columbia, said the research demonstrates that babies have an innate sense of right and wrong.
"Somehow between age five and eight months, the babies get this much more nuanced perception, the ability to interpret circumstances," she said. "It's hard to argue that parents are teaching their children to punish at eight months. It's a very complex idea. If they are learning it, they're doing it on their own, suggesting that there is some kind of system for learning it."
Interesting! Have you noticed this kind of behaviour in your children?
More:Baby's First Year
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