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14 Apr Toddlers regulate their behavior to avoid making adults angry



Toddlers who overhear adults disagreeing can use that emotional information to guide their own behavior, according to research study from the Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences. Learn more about the study here: http://ilabs.washington.edu/i-labs-news/infant-control-thyself

This re-enactment of the experiment begins with a warm-up trial as an experimenter shows a toy to a 15-month-old boy and then he gets a chance to play with them. Then a second adult, the “Emoter,” enters the room. The experimenter shows her how to play with a toy, a strand of beads that make a rattling sound when dropped into a plastic cup. The Emoter calls these actions “aggravating” and “annoying.” When the child has a chance to play with the beads and cup while the Emoter watches with a neutral facial expression, he doesn’t play with the toy. This demonstrates that he’s using the emotional information to regulate his own behavior.

The experiment was published in the October/November 2014 issue of the journal Cognitive Development with the title, “Infant, control thyself: Infants’ integration of multiple social cues to regulate their imitative behavior.” Credit: Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of Washington.”

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