Babies 'show social intelligence'

At the age of six months, most babies have barely learnt to sit up, let alone crawl, walk or talk.
But, according to new research, they can already assess someone's intentions towards them, deciding who is a likely friend or enemy.

US scientists believe babies acquire the ability to make social evaluations in the first few months of life. It may provide the foundation for moral thoughts and actions in later years, they write in the journal Nature.

"By six months, babies have learnt quite a lot and they are taking things in," said Kiley Hamlin, lead author of the research. We can't say that it is hard-wired (exists in a newborn baby) but we can say it is pre-linguistic and pre-explicit teaching," she told BBC News.

"We don't think this says that babies have any morality but it does seem an essential piece of morality to feel positive about those who do good things and negative about those who do bad things - it seems like an important piece of a later more rational and moral system."

Source - BBC

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