Was Kinder nicht erst lernen müssen…

aus New York Times, 16. 11. 2010
By SINDYA N. BHANOO

Understanding another’s intent is an important skill for lawyers, and perhaps politicians and businessmen as well, but according to a new study, it is an ability that even toddlers have.

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany report that children as young as 3 are less likely to help a person after they have seen them harm someone else — in this case adult actors tearing up or breaking another adult’s drawing or clay bird.

More intriguing is that the toddlers judged a person’s intention. When one person tried to harm someone else but did not succeed, the youngsters were less likely to help that person at a later time.

But when they observed a person accidentally cause harm to another, they were more willing to help that person.

“It had been thought for a long time that it was at a later age, only around age 5 or 6, that children become conscious of other people’s intentions,” said Amrisha Vaish, one of the study’s authors and a developmental psychologist at the Max Planck Institute. “To help those who help others is actually a very sophisticated ability.”

It is a form of cooperation that is thought to have enabled the emergence and sustenance of human society as it is today, she said.

The research appears in the journal Child Development.

~ von Panther Ray - November 18, 2010.

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