Published On: Thu, Mar 24th, 2016

How babies deal with angry adults

Baby boy playing with blue knitted bunny toy

Baby boy playing with blue knitted bunny toy

Similarly, as we generally shape quick opinions regarding each other’s personalities, particularly when it comes to negative traits, 15-month-old infants also make same generalizations regarding others and make efforts to calm down adults they think prone to anger, a new research study states.

Betty Repacholi, who is the lead author of the study from the University of Washington, stated that “Our research suggests that babies will do whatever they can to avoid being the target of anger,”

Repacholi further stated that “At this young of an age, they have already worked out a way to stay safe. It’s a smart, adaptive response,”

The research study including more than 200 infants illustrated that 15-month-old babies generalize an adult’s angry behavior even if the social context has altered.

The researchers desired to witness how revealing babies to a strange adult’s anger toward another adult would affect the babies’ behavior in a new condition. Do the babies suppose that the first negative situations would occur once more?

Repacholi continued as “We desired to witness if babies would treat the anger they had seen prior to as a one-off event or whether they see it as being part of the person’s character,”

Andrew Meltzoff, who is the co-author of the research study from University of Washington, stated that “Our research illustrates that babies are carefully paying attention to the emotional reactions of adults,”

Meltzoff further indicated that “Babies make snap judgments as to whether an adult is anger-prone. They pigeon-hole adults more quickly than we thought,”

The results were cited in the journal Developmental Psychology.

Meltzoff continued that “The babies are ’emotion detectives.’ They watch and listen to our emotions, remember how we acted in the past, and use this to predict how we will act in the future. How long these first impressions last is an important question,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.