Scientists study if we are inherently good or bad.
The argument between nature or nurture influencing how we behave has been had many times, but now scientists are studying infants to try to understand if we are inherently good or bad.
Yale University researchers working with infant children have had some interesting results.
They staged a puppet show in which one puppet is trying to go uphill, but keeps falling back down.
Two more puppets appear; one that wants to help the first figure up the hill, and another that is trying to push them back down.
What the researchers found was that, after the puppet show, when given the choice, the infants reached out for the puppet that tried to help the other one push uphill, rather than the other one who was trying to push them both back down.
In another study, the same researchers introduced a neutral character that didn’t try to help or hinder the work.
The infants still chose the helper over the neutral character, but also chose the neutral character over the one trying to hinder the progress.
Scientists think this means that even infants with no language abilities can identify with motivations and are prone to like things that help them achieve rather than things that try to hold them back.