According to a new study on infant cognition by University of Chicago, even nine-month-old infants can engage in reasoning about whether the people they observe are friends or foes. “This is some of the first evidence that young infants are tracking other people’s social relationships,” said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology and co-author of the study.
In this study, 64 nine-month-old infants, randomised into groups, watched videos showing two adults. The adults ate two kind of foods and reacted in either a positive or a negative way to each food they ate. In some videos, the adults shared the same reactions while in others, they reacted differently, said the paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. “Eating with family and friends is inherently social so infants might be particularly inclined to use eating behaviours to make inferences about social relationships,” noted Katherine D. Kinzler, the Neubauer Family assistant professor of psychology.