Members in the Media
From: TIME

It’s Not Your Imagination: That Toddler is Judging You

There are few things as irresistible as the face of a toddler: the tiny nose, the ingenuous eyes, the utter scrumptiousness of the cheeks. Well, guess what. They don’t think nearly as highly of your face. Kids may not say it, but by the time they’re as young as three, they give you a good hard look the moment they meet you—and they judge a lot by what they see.

It may be no surprise that young humans—like all humans—look to the face first for clues about the kindness, approachability and even competence of new people. But according to a new study conducted by a group of researchers from Harvard University and published in the journal Developmental Psychology, the scrutinizing starts earlier and is a good deal subtler than a lot of people believed.

“We have a misguided notion that children are empty vessels into which culture slowly pours itself as they mature,” said psychologist Mahzarin Banaji, a co-author of the study, in a statement accompanying its release. “This research shows that perceptions of people, however inaccurate those judgments might be, emerge early in humans.” Our kids, it seems, start off a lot like us—and become only more so as they age.

“We have a misguided notion that children are empty vessels into which culture slowly pours itself as they mature,” said psychologist Mahzarin Banaji, a co-author of the study, in a statement accompanying its release. “This research shows that perceptions of people, however inaccurate those judgments might be, emerge early in humans.” Our kids, it seems, start off a lot like us—and become only more so as they age.

Read the whole story: TIME

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