Is Morality Innate?

Is Morality Innate?

1. Do you believe babies are born good or evil explain?
Now watch the 60 Minutes
2. How has this Yale study impacted on your viewpoint?
3. What confounding variables may have impacted on the outcome of this study?

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6 Responses to Is Morality Innate?

  1. Samantha Kosziollek says:

    1). I believe babies are born good; the environment influences them to react with anger and selfishness as they grow older.
    2). Yes, this Yale study has impacted my viewpoint. Now, I see that even babies are born with a sense of bigotry. This study helped me realize that we are born with both a sense of morality as well as selfishness and bias; we are able to influence ourselves enough to not automatically go to those reactions, but they never disappear.
    3). Socialization is important; it may have impacted the outcome of this study. Even though babies are born with a sense of morality, they still need to interact with their parents and others. This ensures that they have support and warmth, rather than a cold behavior toward others. They need to be able to trust their parents before they can trust and usually always prefer the better characters in life. Perhaps in the study involving the puppet’s inability to open the box without help, a child with a lack of socialization wouldn’t want the puppet to be helped because he/she is never helped (when crying) by mom or dad.

  2. Melissa Fellin says:

    1) I think that babies are born with both some evil and some good, but tending to lean more on the good side. I think we either become good or evil or even a bit of both as a result of nurture e.i our environment, how we are raised, etc. I think if you have a parent guiding a child and explaining what is right or wrong, it will bring out the good in the child. However, with a bad environment and parents who are bad influences, I think this can cause the evil to be brought out in a person. Although I don’t think of this as a black and white line. I feel like sometimes even though we might be brought in a way that guides good or guides us to be bad, I don’t think that 100% reflects how we turn out to be. Someone with bad influences might still be a good person and as well as someone with good influences might not always turn out so good. I also don’t think we can ever be 100% good or ever, as well. I think there will still be a part of us with some evil or with some good.
    2) This study didn’t really change by opinion much. If anything, it confirmed my original beliefs. The studies that were done with the puppets did impress me because more than 75% of the babies chose the good puppet over the bad one. However, they were biased toward the puppets that were like themselves and liked the puppet who did not help the puppet who was not like them which I think shows we have some form of not necessarily evil in us but we like to see harm done on others not like us. However, over time depending on how we are influenced it causes us to hide those evil feelings even though they are always there as seen in the chip study.
    3) What I originally thought to myself was that the babies chose the puppets based on whether or not they visually liked them more which is one confounding variable. The babies might just have had a preference to the blue color more than the yellow or the brightness of the orange color more attractive than the gray one. I just think in general it’s hard to study infants because they can’t articulate how they feel. I mean sure more children happened to pick the good puppet but that could be because of a number of random things like which one they liked better appearance wise. At this age babies are just learning how to keep themselves upright so I don’t think they can really make out what is going on with the puppets.

  3. Karina Escalante says:

    1) I believe that babies are born morally good because they are purely innocent since they haven’t interacted yet with many outside stimuli or bad things/people. Even if a child has irresponsible or bad parents, I believe that they are still born good at the earliest point in their life. This changes over time, for both babies that have good or bad influences/parents, because that is the nature of life.
    2) The Yale study changed my perspective on babies a little bit because not only are babies born good, but they also can be bias and selfish. Examples of this were when studies showed that babies desired for the “bad” puppets to be punished and when toddlers chose to receive more than their opponents when playing a game.
    3) Confounding variables that may have impacted this study are the children’s environments, along with their parents/influences. It is said that the environment a child starts out in will definitely affect the person they will be when they get older. So, if a baby is surrounded with negative influences, it is most likely that they will not perform or make positive choices like other babies did in the Yale studies.

  4. Ruben Ocana says:

    1. I personally believe that babies are born “good” but just through pure ignorance. They come into the world not knowing anything and the experiences they have in life, in my opinion, is what shapes them to be either “good” or “evil.”
    Now watch the 60 Minutes
    2. The Yale study pretty much changed my viewpoint. I said babies were good out of ignorance, but according to the study they are usually born with a sense of a good morality. What amazed me, however, was how they have their own bias on things (ex. the baby chose the stuffed animal that “ate” the cheerios instead of the graham crackers because he preferred cheerios). That to me is awesome, but it could also mean that some things a baby can interpret as “good,” can be bad.
    3. The variables that may have impacted the outcome of this study are to me first of all ethnicity. All I was seeing in the video were white babies, nothing else. Also we have to look at the baby’s environment and also how their parents treat them. They may have a specific age down but they have to expand on that and try to really put the babies into more specific groups.

  5. Alexandra Cordero says:

    1) I believe that babies are born “good” but outside factors such as their environment and parents can influence that and quickly change them from being initially good. But i also do not believe a baby can be evil. They may exemplify poort judgement and bad behavior but I don’t think I would desribe a baby as evil (considering one of the definitions is, “embodying or associated with the forces of the devil.”) I do believe that babies have different characteristics that they can quickly pick up from someone who they spend a lot of time with or see a lot. I think the factor that has the greatest outcome at this period are the parents, siblings of the child and family. Environment and how the child is treated i also think is important.
    2)This study impacted my viewpoint because I initially thought that we were not born good but studies suggest that we may infant be born good. The puppet study was interesting as it showed that 75% of babies preferred the “good” puppet who helped the opening of the box, while 25% preferred the “evil” puppet who slammed it closed (that 25% must be some evil babies). I find it absolutely hilarious that babies chose the puppet who slammed the box on the “bad” puppet who stole the ball because they believed he “deserved punishment”. The study with Graham Crackers and Cheerios not only showed me that babies prefer those who like similar things as us, but that we in fact want those who don’t to be punished who don’t like the same thing as us. Its very interesting that infants prefer those who harm others unlike them. I find the connection between these studies and racism to be interesting in the sense that we prefer those who look and act like us from the time we are babies. This video is actually making me laugh. I think it’s crazy that kids would prefer to have less prizes for themselves as long as it means they have more than the other person (although I would probably do the same thing). The fact that when the administrator of the test was like “you get seven she doesn’t get any” and the girl was like “YAY” cracked me up. Its also interesting that by 8 the kids start choosing the equal option or even giving the opponent more. They become generous. This shows we can temper some of the tendencies we are wired for but the instincts are still there.
    3) I think the confounding variables that may have impacted this study are that they used different puppets with different colors. It is possible a babies room is painted the color of the shirt of their parents have that color around the house. Also in terms of the older kids, if I was doing a study I would probably try to make it seem like i was generous, either giving my opponent the same amount as me or potentially more. But if I was actually up against someone in competition I would definitely want them to have less than me.

  6. Maynard Santos says:

    1) I believe that babies are born with an innate sense of self-preservation, and their actions are guided (nurtured) by their parents/family/environment into being “good” or “evil”.

    2) I would have to say that the Yale study was incredibly enlightening and provided insight into the mind of babies. I would have never guessed that babies had possessed a concept of justice, favoring the punishment of the toy thief over aid of the toy thief. The babies’ bias towards those who held different views was something I had never considered before as well. It came to no surprise that babies/toddlers sought more for themselves, as we have learned already during early stages of cognitive development babies must outgrow an egocentric mentality.

    3) I feel that maybe the babies’ native home environment may affect the choices they make. Particularly in the study regarding taking more chips for themselves, I think that it is arguable that having a fellow sibling may make the toddler more inclined to share chips.

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