Being a new parent means that so many new emotions that you never really considered before being one hundred percent in charge of a growing human being, cross your mind. One of those emotions is being wary of pretty much everyone who is around your children. You seem to grow a skeptical gene overnight and question everyone and everything because you gotta keep this little baby safe - it's your job.
And because of this, we have all experienced that pit in our stomachs whenever we hand our sweet little baby to be held by someone new and they scream their heads off instead of smile and coo. We silently curse the world and know deep down inside that our little one sensed something just wasn't right, even though we don't have any facts to base that on. It turns out that based on new research, our intuition was right and babies can actually tell right away if a person is bad. For real.
The news outlet, The Guardian, shared a study done by Yale University outlining that babies as young as six months are able to distinguish between good and bad people. Wow, just wow.
Researchers came to this conclusion by performing an experiment with a series of characters who either attempted to push a block up a hill or prevented it from happening. Karen Wynn, lead researcher on the study, showed that babies have a preference for helpful individuals and that babies are able to pick up on micro-cues that researchers still have yet to discover. Basically, unlike adults, babies have completely unbiased opinions and aren't shy about showing what those are.
A second study, also conducted by Yale University with their Infant Cognition Center, babies were presented with a puppet trying to open a box. In this experiment, a good puppet helped to open the box, and the bad puppet slammed the box shut. They concluded that more than 80 percent of the infants chose the good puppet, further supporting the original theory.
As babies grow into children, these opinions that they have been further strengthened and they will react differently. For instance, instead of crying whenever they sense a bad person, they might show their feeling through their facial expressions instead. And while it seems impossible that infants are able to have such strong feelings at such a young age, it happens every single day and we should pay attention to their reactions as parents.