Peds Therapy Corner: What Stealing Cookies Teaches Us About Young Children and Empathy
[Source: Mind Shift]
Toddlers can throw their fair share of tantrums, especially when you don’t yield to their will. But by age 3, it turns out, the little rug rats actually have a burgeoning sense of fairness and are inclined to right a wrong.
When they see someone being mistreated, children as young as 3 years old will intervene on behalf of others nearly as often as for themselves, a study published this month in Current Biology suggests. Just don’t ask them to punish the perpetrator.
Researchers in the U.K. and Germany morphed into puppeteers to learn when children develop their sense of justice and interest in punishment. The study included 137 children who were either 3 or 5 years old, and involve each, one at a time, in several different scenarios.
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