Experts at Kyoto University studied toddlers and their reaction to scenarios, finding that children have an innate affinity with heroism
Are we born to love superheroes? Human brain is wired to identify heroism and admire justice from the age of just SIX MONTHS
- Experts at Kyoto University studied toddlers and their reaction to scenarios
- Found the children displayed an affinity with ‘goodies’ rather than ‘baddies’
- Scientists say innate response explains adult love affair with superhero stories
Comic book characters are often divided into good or bad.
And according to research conducted by experts in Japan, toddlers can instinctively distinguish between the two – because the human brain is designed that way.
Specifically, pre-verbal infants as young as six months can find themselves drawn to figures who protect the weak because the desire for justice is innate.
The claim, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, comes after scientists at Kyoto University studied toddlers and their reaction to fictional scenarios.
In a series of experiments, they were shown animations of one 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 former.
Despite being unable to speak, young babies can already understand the power dynamics between these different characters, suggesting that recognising heroism is perhaps an innate ability. Pictured is Spiderman
The scientists see this as explaining why kids and adults alike have a never-ending love affair with superhero stories in popular culture.
Currently, the US comic book market is worth a staggering £725 million ($900 million), with thousands of die-hard fans attending international events such as Comic-Con.
‘In human society, selflessly protecting the powerless is considered an act of heroic justice. But understanding this is complex, says the study’s lead author, Masako Myowa.
The findings could explain why kids and adults alike have a never-ending love affair with superhero stories, such as Superman, in popular culture
CAN COMICS TURN KIDS INTO BULLIES?
A recent study conducted by Sarah M. Coyne from Brigham Young University analysed 240 youngsters and their reaction to superheroes.
Twenty per cent of them associated their favorite superhero with some type of violent skills.
For example, ‘He’s big and can punch’ and ‘She smashes and gets angry’.
Some were milder, while others suggested blatant aggression.
The remaining 70 per cent of skills-related comments by children were benign in nature: ‘Because he is big and strong’ and ‘Because he is cool and can fly.
This is despite the fact children of that age are unable to speak.
‘Six-month-old infants are still in an early developmental stage, and most will not yet be able to talk,’ adds contributor David Butler.
‘Nevertheless, they can already understand the power dynamics between these different characters, suggesting that recognising heroism is perhaps an innate ability.’
Interestingly, the youngsters’ understanding of justice and morality developed with age, which – if studied further – could contribute to solutions for serious social issues such as bullying.
Currently, the US comic book market is worth a staggering £725 million ($900 million), with thousands of die-hard fans attending international events such as Comic-Con
Link Original: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4390012/Human-brain-wired-identify-heroism-study-says.html?ITO=applenews