Psych 2 Go
Over the years, philosophers and psychologists alike
have speculated over whether we are taught
to know the difference between right ang wrong,
or whether we are predisposed to understanding it.
The question of morality has lingered to hundreds of years,
and previously it was widely believed that
a human is born a blank slate
with their idea of right and wrong formed by their environment.
This concept concerning morality
was proposed by famous 18th-century philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau,
who stated that babies are born unknowing any sense of ethics,
and they have to be educated to learn them.
This theory has been accepted by the general public for many years,
but recently, a new theory has risen
to answer this long-standing question.
Doctor Kren Wynn runs Yale University Infant Cognition Center,
also known as the Baby Lab.
The team researchers at the Infant Cognition Center
have been studying in baby’s behavior for decades,
and beginning about 8 years ago
they started to conduct a series of tests to examine
a baby’s understanding of good and bad behavior.
This test will conduct by showing babies
(age five months old) to a public show.
The public show featured
a black and white cat trying to open a box,
but finding difficulties in its attempts.
The show also featured two rabbits in different colored shirts
and during this course, the babies are presented with two scenarios.
In the first, the rabbit puppet with a green shirt
aids the cat in its attempt to open the box,
while during the second, the rabbit dressed in an orange shirt
deliberately inhibits the cat’s ability
to open the box by slamming the shelf.
After the show, a staff member unaware
which is the good or bad rabbit
behold both puppets and ask the baby
which puppet he or she likes more.
The mother, who was usually there with the child,
would close her eyes so that she would not influence the baby’s decisions.
Obviously, the babies are unable to answer to dialogue,
but they will reach for the toy they like best.
The result is, more than 80％ of the five-month-old baby
showed the liking towards the bunny that helped the cat.
And this number increased to 87%
when tested on three-month-old babies.
The study was also conducted on babies aged three months.
Those children at that age are unable to grab objects,
so alternative techniques were used.
Numerous studies have shown that
the baby will look at something longer if they like it,
and for short time if they don’t.
So the researchers calculated their chosen rabbit
by which one they looked up longer.
This information seems to suggest that
we were born with innate sense of morality
rather than the “blank” statement telly suggested by Rousseau,
however, the result isn’t appeal solid.
This conclusion of inborn sense of morality
cannot be drawn too quickly
as a few questions still remain.
Rousseau’s theory could still be possible
if we considered the possibility that babies had learned
the difference between right and wrong
in their three-month priority to experiment.
Furthermore, more than five-month-old babies
chose the bad puppets than the three-month-old ones.
Does this suggest that the older you get,
the more you sense of right and wrong fades?
Or is it simply too early to tell at that age?
Leave a comment down below with your thoughts.
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