Even Babies Know Friend From Foe

In study, infants show social judgment long before they can talk
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 7:50 PM CST
This baby could well be an evil baby.   ((c) spinachdip)
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(Newser) – Babies know how to pick out friends from enemies even before they can talk, a new study suggests. The findings could mean that such social behavior is innate rather than learned from parents, said researchers at Yale University. In the study, babies 6 to 10 months old clearly preferred playing with toys shown to be helpful rather than hurtful, the AP reports.

"It's incredibly impressive that babies can do this," says the study's lead author. "It shows that we have these essential social skills occurring without much explicit teaching." The children even preferred toys perceived as neutral over toys seen as mean. Boys and girls showed the same reactions in the tests.