Infants can understand what happens around them

Infant

Infants can understand what happens around them

Recent research released by researchers at the University of Missouri found that babies can to understand different social events that take place around them. Using these skills, they then expect the people involved to behave in an appropriate way. This shows that even at a young age, children are developing the early learning skills of how to behave in a variety of social situations.

Reacting to social events

The researchers re-enacted different situations with puppets for 13-month-old children. These scenarios varied from the puppets acting in a friendly way to hitting one another. They then examined the length of the child’s gaze, which indicates their level of understanding and knowledge. They will spend a longer time looking at something that is unusual because it is more interesting. However, if they expect something predictable to happen, they stop looking more quickly.

The researchers assessed how the different situations changed the reactions of the children. These included hitting the puppets accidentally and intentionally to gauge the child’s reaction.

The research highlights that even young children are learning about the world they belong to and making sense of social situations. This will help them in later life, although at this point their other skills will be more developed. This enables us to realise that there are different reasons for events happening and our reactions can change accordingly; for example, how we react can depend on whether we are friends with someone or if there has been a catalyst for something to occur.


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