Friday, 26 October 2012

Babies Be Cool

I'm up at that magical time of a quarter to two in the morning again. Wheeee. Technically this was written on Friday so whatever. Anyway yesterday (again, technically) I did something I hadn't done in quite some time. I finally opened up my psychology textbook and gave it a good read. I find I'm having some trouble getting through it though because I have to stop reading every five seconds to write what I just read as notes. I'm considering switching to a highlighter pen. The book is mine now and I can do what I want with it. I just shouldn't break it yet or something.

So I'm learning about the relationships people form as they grow older. This of course starts with babies bonding with their parents and family, which is where the title of the post comes from. People hadn't really decided to look at babies from a psychological angle until quite recently, but some of it is pretty awesome. Such as how babies don't form the closest bond with their parents necessarily, but the person they perceive who can give them what they want. Once their physical needs are taken care of (ie feeding and pooping) they're very willing to be social and playful with a variety of hand gestures and by making eye contact. From just a few months old a baby is able to recognise faces and they actually recognise voices from inside the womb. They can tell the difference between a voice, and a general background noise, and can react appropriately.

As they get older that's when they begin to accept that the world around them is seen differently by others and there's a fun test you can do if you have young children and older children. Bear with me on this. So, you have two dolls, a marble, a basket, and a box. One doll takes the marble, and puts it in the basket. They then go away and while they're gone the other doll takes the marble, and puts it in the box. When the doll who puts it in the basket comes back, she wants to play with the marble and so you ask the kids where she would look to find it. If they're under three, they tend to say the box. To them, only their view point exists and matters. After that age though they begin to realise that different people experience the world differently, and they would say that she would look in the basket because she didn't see the marble being put in to the box even if they did.

This is the main reason that toddlers are so egocentric and uncompromising. They really are the centre of their own universe, and they don't know, or accept, that other viewpoints exist, other needs. To them, the only thing that matters is themselves. So, next time your kid gets bratty, remember that they might not be able to help it.

There is more, including how I can actually relate a lot of this stuff to myself, but I've bored you for long enough. Jeez if this isn't a specialist subject then I don't know what is. I guess the future of specialist subject posts could be decided with how well this one goes down. Hopefully it goes down like me when I'm drunk at two in the morning.

Sadly I am not drunk. Plus it's not quite two in the morning.


  1. Woah...that was quite interesting. I think psychology is extremely interesting. I used to read all my cousins psychology textbooks when she wasn't there.

  2. This was definitely an interesting post Mark, I'm pretty proud of you for actually opening up the textbook and making a start on your reading, that's more than I've done in relation to psychology or even Law so you should be proud, I'd consider the highlighter option too. I've always believed and felt that about babies and children personally, I find it pretty cool in fact. You can kind of mould them into being the exact person you want them to be if you play your cards right which is pretty cool.

  3. do these smarty pants psychologists know what babies are really thinking? If I was walking around wearing a diaper full of doody, that would probably be my #1 concern at that moment as well. Take care of the doody problem, then I will be in a better mood. Much like life in general... If I could get rid of all of life's doody I would be in a much better mood.

  4. This is a very interesting subject, and I wish we could delve deeper into it; babies' behavior makes sense in a behavioral economics (game theory) aspect: they make "rational decisions" based on what will give them the highest utility (or satisfaction and pleasure). I wish we could all be like babies actually.

  5. I know you've long been interested in the field of psychology Mark and I'm glad you're getting into the textbook. Better yet, you're finding application to your own life.

    Babies are self-centered little buggers that's for sure. I took my daughter to work with me so it would be me that she bonded to. Have a good weekend Mark!

  6. I was so glad that when my children were babies I was only working part time so we were really able to bond well! We are still tight today!

    Wanna know what's worse than a toddler with a limited vocabulary having a melt down? A toddler with a speech delay having a meltdown, knowing what he wants to say to you but not having the ability. We had some tough times, but my son verbalizes like a champ now!

  7. the sound of shrieking toddlers, really the sound of uncompromising dictators. Makes total sense.

  8. When I was still in my mom's womb I would "jump around" whenever I heard the song "Jump" by Van Halen.

    Yeah I wasn't even a proper human being yet but I was awesome (^^,)


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