According to a new study, kids as young as 6 months old are drawn to those who protect the weak.
If you look around at a playground, a toy store, or even during Halloween – you’re bound to find superhero-themed gear, toys or costumes very popular among all children.
Why the fascination with superheroes?
“According to new research out of Japan, babies are born with a sense of justice, which means their infatuation with superheroesmay actually be innate. In fact, researchers discovered that pre-verbal infants as young as 6 months found themselves drawn to figures who protect the weak.” Pretty amazing!
For the study, infants were shown animations of one geometric character chasing and bumping into another, as a third character watches from a distance. In one version, this third party character intervenes, and in another, it escapes in another direction. When the infants were then shown real-life replicas of these intervening and non-intervening characters, they were more likely to choose the intervener.
“Six-month-old infants are still in an early developmental stage, and most will not yet be able to talk,” explained researcher Dr. David Butler. “Nevertheless they can already understand the power dynamics between these different characters, suggesting that recognizing heroism is perhaps an innate ability.”
Plus, while the 6-month-olds didn’t show a preference for intentional help over accidental help, the 10-month-olds did. Which is why the researchers next step is to track the path of this development. In seeking to understand how a more complex sense of justice is fostered over time, the team ultimately sees a possibility of contributing to solutions for serious social issues like bullying.
Does your child have any interest in superheroes? If so, we at Camp NAC offer multiple superhero-themed camps to assure that your child has a super summer break! Here are the weeks:
Week 8: Marvel Madness (ages 6-8) | Week 9: Superhero (ages 3-5)