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February 13th, 2014
10:55 PM ET

Why do babies choose bad over good?

A group of researchers at Yale University's 'baby lab' ran a string of tests that found babies are able to tell the difference between good and bad. But they also found babies can often be coaxed to the bad side. What does it take to do that? Anderson finds out.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. mbl3157

    This is not morality. The baby is given the opportunity to take food from either a nice helpful green bunny or from the mean, aggressive orange bunny. If anything I see this as the child willing to steal from the weaker bunny rather than steal from the more aggressive, mean bunny. This isn't inherent morality, it's inherent survival: Don't steal from someone that may turn aggressive for stealing from them. It also shows how human beings are more willing to take from someone who is nice and willing to help, and maybe even take advantage of them because they are less willing to stand up for themselves. Babies are born with an id, not morality. I would love to read this paper and determine how the researchers justify calling this an example of inherent morality.

    February 14, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
  2. agingagonist

    Babys don't recognize good from evil because neither exist in reality. However, all animals are born with genetic coding for survival and will naturally favour behaviour that supports their survival. Co-operation is by far the most outstanding trait that promotes survival in most species. It's too bad that the Tea Baggers have not evolved psychologically with the rest of humanity and refuse to cooperate, even with like minded Republicans.

    February 14, 2014 at 7:49 am |
  3. g2-0087f6f563ff60b84af3e1ff88ac0d03

    "cognition lab" says it all. Yale says babies observe an externally existing 'good'. Yale gets trapped by Plato all the time. They see baby as passive. I think babies (and all of us) actively ascribe moral values to thing presented in the environment

    February 13, 2014 at 11:22 pm |

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