Was Your Baby Born Bad? Scientists Actually Think So

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baby close-upSo everybody's been talking about what horrible people babies are, and I -- oh, you haven't heard? Yeah, according to a bunch of researchers, babies apparently have no moral compass. How did they make this disconcerting and seemingly irrelevant discovery, you ask? Interesting story: Basically, they lined all the babies up and made them take turns trying on a tiny Sorting Hat and -- wouldn't you know? They all ended up in Slytherin.

Okay, not really, but honestly? The actual "scientific process" involved researchers observing babies' reactions to puppets pretending to push each other down a hill or something and sounds about as accurate as a magic hat.

Anyway, the whole thing is supposed to support the theory that human beings aren't born knowing right from wrong. And it's a good thing babies don't have size or motor skills to their advantage cause those little suckers are rotten to the core.

But you know what? I don't buy it. Not for a second. I've known lots of babies -- even had a couple of my own -- and while it's true that they are inordinately self-centered little creatures, they aren't sociopaths. For cripessake!

Babies totally show compassion and kindness and concern for others, contrary to what this study claims. If you're a mom, you know what I'm talking about: Those moments when you stub your toe or get a paper cut and cry out in pain and your baby looks at you like, Oh my god, Mommy! Mommy is hurt! Should I cry, too! MOMMY!!

I can still clearly remember the day I was pushing my 11- or 12-month-old daughter in a grocery cart when we heard another baby crying from some other part of the store. Instantly, my daughter started looking around in alarm. "Bee-bee!" Oh no! A baby is sad! Something must be done!!

I mean, who knows -- I guess it's possible that those researchers just got stuck with a group of future criminals. But I doubt it.

Do you think your baby was born bad?

Image via Hamish Darby/Flickr

baby development, baby first year, in the news


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nonmember avatar SB

Being born morally neutral (or without a moral compass) doesn't necessarily imply that you are born bad. It should be seen more as a capacity to go either way, and an implication that there may not be any objective moral good that everyone is born with.

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Yea, I agree with SB. Babies arent born as angry little nutjobs, but they also pick up on what sort of person raises them. If you're high strung and moody, they'll pick up on that and think that's how people are supposed to behave. Actually, that "study" seems a little... I dont know...unnecessary? :-\

Miche... Michelephant

I take offense. Slytherins aren't evil.

nonmember avatar jenna

Even if babies are seemingly born without a moral compass, it doesn't make them bad or evil. Most babies really do not know right from wrong, like when a baby hits or bites and they've been told "no". 1, they don't know what "no" means, and 2, they can't know that what they're doing causes harm to others. I cannot stand to see parents who yell or punish their babies for biting or hitting because they generally have NO clue of why they are being punished. Babies can learn to mimic compassion and concern early in life just as they can learn to mimic "mean" behavior. When they begin to mature more and their emotional development advances, that mimicking will gradually be replaced with actual feelings of compassion and concern or malice.

Belkys87 Belkys87

I have a set of twin girls they are almost 2 yo and to be honest ive seen their response in different situations , situations they never seen us ( the adults ) in example

One day one was pushing a little table they play with and she pushed the other one to the wall ..to my surprise she pushed the table back

Another day one is crying because daddy is leaving and before I do anything sister is trying to give her a toy , or the pacifier ( back when they use to have one )

I think kids do things naturally that are wrong and some that are right

They dont know the difference and its our job to teach them that. I dont think there is the need for a study , just be a parent and youll know :)

AliNo... AliNoelle

They all ended up in Slytherin. Bahahahahaa!

MeowLove MeowLove

@Michealphant- everyone knows that there wasnt a dark witch or wizard who wasnt in Slytherin! just look at their history! nothing but no good dirty snakes! My daughters in Ravenclaw and im damn proud! wit beyond measure is mans greatest treasure. 

Pam Hyland

All I think this study shows is that babies know the difference between puppets and real people. No one cares about what happens to puppets, even babies apparently.

Lauren Borkowski

How many America's funniest home videos have we seen of babies cracking up when guys get hit in "sensitive areas?" Plenty. Babies just don't know right from wrong yet. Deal with it.

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