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Invalid presumption in original hypothesis

Posted by darkomax on 10 Jul 2013 at 20:16 GMT

Quote: <italic>In the present experiments, we hypothesize that if preverbal infants feel rudimentary sympathy for attacked others, they should manifest an automatic approach response toward the victim in third-party affiliation situations.</italic>

In my opinion, it's trivial to negate the above hypothesis, and this negation leads to complete discard of the study, unfortunately. Let me explain. Some of the babies could (and I believe vast majority of them did) choose to approach the victim because of quite a different sort of affiliation with it: the victim gave the impression that it is weaker, and they chose to approach it because 1) they are less afraid of it and feel more safe with it, and 2) they could exercise domination over them more easily than with the "stronger" and more dangerous one. In this way any person gets the opportunity to boost their self-esteem, because it depends on the surrounding society and is not an objective thing. Maybe sympathy involves approaching the object, but the scientists made false logic with the opposite direction here: it doesn't have to go the other way around too; if they approach the object, that doesn't have to mean they approached it out of sympathy, but from completely different reasons. I propose repeating the experiment with better assumptions.

I suggest that the technique to recognize the baby's sympathy be defined for examply by having the babies chose whom to give a present (to the victim or to the attacker) after seeing the show, or like facing both the victim and the attacker separately and then recognizing their emotions - maybe they would feel disgusted, or despise the victim object, or even show aggression towards it themselves, and maybe they will glorify and award the "better" one. Think about it.

No competing interests declared.