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How Do Babies Perceive Fairness? The Answer Might Surprise You

Flickr Photo/Paolo Marconi (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Jessica Sommerville, psychology professor at the University of Washington, about her recent study that explores how babies perceive justice.

Sommerville and her research team created an experiment that examined how race and fairness influenced 15-month-old babies’ selection of a playmate.

"It may be the case that currently parents and policy makers are thinking about things like when their child goes to preschool or when they enter kindergarten or elementary school, that they'd be concerned about diversity," she said. "But I think what our finding suggest is that we should be concerned a lot earlier."

This video shows an example of a “choice trial,” where a baby chooses between two experimenters:

This segment originally aired April 18, 2014.

Year started with KUOW: 2006
Year started with KUOW: 2004