A study was done recently on eight-month-old babies using puppets, and the results showed the babies preferred when the “bad” puppets were punished. A similar study done on 21-month-old babies showed that they themselves did the punishing on puppets that they considered to be the bad guys.
Reading about the details of the study proves one thing to me: babies are mean.
It’s not that I didn’t already know this, just take a look again at these judgy baby photos. You can see it in their eyes. They are incredulous at your poor decision-making. They are appalled at how you’ve let yourself go. They are nonplussed at your attempts to entertain them. They can’t believe you are wearing that.
If you’ve ever had a baby throw something across the room because you happened to not give them food quick enough, or seen how babies, by and large, mistreat their pets, you know what I’m talking about here. I’m pretty sure the study also explains this.
The explanation of the study by Science Daily pointed out that babies understanding these social nuances at the early age of 8 months could be the foundation for the “phenomenon of cheering at executions”. I’m quite sure that cheering at an execution is not something I ever want my baby to take part in.