RIP Philo

Kids learn through emotional eavesdropping - Toddlers Engage In 'Emotional Eavesdropping' To Guide Their Behavior

The experiments are the first demonstration that infants can modify their own behavior in response to an emotional communication that does not involve them. "There are lots of studies of how the emotions parents directly communicate to their infants have an impact on their behavior. No one before considered if infants can take in emotional information when directed toward someone else and apply it to themselves," said Repacholi. "By observing and analyzing other people's emotional behavior, infants are able to quickly learn some important lessons. It is not only an extremely efficient way of looking at the world but is also highly adaptive. Infants can use emotional eavesdropping to avoid some of the negative consequences that might arise were they to perform an action themselves. It is also a pretty adaptive way of interpreting what is important and what they can get away with."

This is apparently a skill we lose as we grow older.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 28th, 2007 10:24am
We have to do it consciously, by deliberately thinking about and modifying our behaviour rather than acting impulsively. It's pretty hard to do, that is for sure.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
March 28th, 2007 11:00am
Who says we lose it? Was the test done on 18-year olds as well as 18-month ones?

I imagine that if you saw a colleague at work approach your boss with an idea and you saw your boss react angerly, or dismissively, you'd be hesitant to approach the boss with the same idea, or even any idea at all.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 28th, 2007 12:29pm

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