Infants’ Instincts to Help, Share, and Comfort

Moral growth is promoted when we allow little ones to act on their instincts.

An all-too-common belief in our culture —often held implicitly rather than explicitly — is that babies come into the world as either asocial (the “blank slate” belief) or antisocial (the “original sin” belief) and must be deliberately trained through reward, punishment, and coaxing to be helpful to others. However, parents who are truly attuned to their infants and toddlers are often amazed at the degree to which they behave in prosocial ways without any apparent training or even encouragement. [Note: Prosocial is the technical descriptor, opposite of antisocial, that psychologists commonly use to refer to behaviors aimed at benefiting others.]


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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