Leadership Tips from Babies

Babies understand social hierarchies and expect leaders to fix everything when someone breaks the rules, according to researchers who observed children watching puppet shows.

Scientists looked at how 120 17-month-old children reacted to puppet shows showing where bears behave unfairly, while they sat on a parents’ lap. Would infants expect the leader of a group to step in to fix an issue, compared with those who weren’t leaders?

The babies watched three bear puppets, who represented a wrongdoer, protagonist and a victim, respectively, in different scenarios. The protagonist bear presented the other bears with two toys to share. But the mean bear took both.

(continue reading)