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A baby smiles while being tested by a Magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine
Photo: Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS), UW.

Presentation: ‘What Do Babies Think?’

Yesterday we highlighted elements of research from Alison Gopnik of the University of California at Berkeley and Betty Repacholi of the University of Washington and outlined tips from Mind in the Making to help children learn the essential executive functioning skill Perspective Taking.

Today, we take a deeper dive.

In an experiment called Broccoli and Goldfish Crackers created by Alison Gopnik of the University of California at Berkeley and Betty Repacholi of the University of Washington, an experimenter makes it clear to a child that she dislikes the crackers but likes the broccoli, then asks the child to “give me what I like.” A 14-month-old will give the adult what the child likes (crackers) but by 18 months, the child will give the adult what the adult likes (broccoli).

In 2011, Dr. Gopnik gave a TED Talk titled “What do babies think?”

Writes TED: “’Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species,’ says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.”

The full transcript can be found here.

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