Sunday, July 01, 2007

are you lying to me baby?

Timmy has a soft fuzzy giraffe named Geraldine given to him by an auntie. It is funny to watch as Timmy's eyes search around the crib and light up as he reaches for her before snuggling up in a little ball. Sometimes though, Timmy cries for me to come rescue him and nurse him a second or third time before he drifts off. It is a hard stage right now because I can't tell if he really needs more food, or he is just trying to stay up later than he should. I don't quite buy the theory that he is technically lying, but it is interesting.

We certainly don't have any fake laughing, there is plenty of the real thing from baby Timmy as the big ones have figured out the secret to getting him out of a fussing jag, the horsey game. I'm sure you know it: Place baby on your hips while lying on the floor. "This is the way the lady rides, pace, pace, pace, pace (gentle bumps), this is the way the gentleman rides, trot, trot, trot, trot (brisk bounces), and this is the way that TIMMY rides, gallopy, gallopy, gallopy, whee! (large bounces, followed by lifting in the air)" Timmy laughs uproariously and jiggles up and down to indicate that he would like to do it again, and again, and again.
My grandmother recalled a news program which reported that researchers put a group of football players in a room with a bunch of toddlers. When instructed to repeat every action of the babies, the big strapping athletes soon fell down in exhaustion. That research study I can certainly believe completely.

Yet it now appears that babies learn to deceive from a far younger age than anyone previously suspected.
Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
Following studies of more than 50 children and interviews with parents, Dr Vasudevi Reddy, of the University of Portsmouth's psychology department, says she has identified seven categories of deception used between six months and three-years-old.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. Dr Reddy said: "Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.
"It demonstrates they're clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect."

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