Curiosity seems to be a character trait that is acquired in the first months of life. To finally never disappear again. According to a study, the babies of a few months most captivated by magic tricks have become the most curious toddlers. So, a baby’s level of interest – even before he speaks – for some surprising aspects remains constant over time.
“Something about a baby’s curiosity for magic tricks is to predict how curious he becomes as a preschooler,” said Lisa Feigenson, co-director of the Child Development Lab. from Johns Hopkins University. Before adding: “What the data suggests is that some three-year-olds are ahead of the game or seem uniquely positioned to learn a lot about the world“. These findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
At the origin of this study, some experiments showed babies ordinary objects and others behaved in surprising and unexpected ways. Some babies looked and stared at a car that seemed to be floating in the air or a ball that seemed to go through a solid wall. Other babies took a look, yawn and it’s over. If the researchers attributed the differences in reactions to the baby’s condition (fatigue, hunger, etc.), they suspected the existence another explanation.
Still curious at 17 months
“We started to wonder if maybe all of this individual variability is really significant and tells us that babies react to the world differently, from one baby to another “, specify the scientists. So, to be clear, they studied the reactions of 65 babies. At 11 months, some babies have seen a classic toy while others have saw the toy go through a wall Six months later, babies either saw a new toy that behaved normally or appeared to be floating in the air.
“We found that babies who looked at magic objects for a very long time at 11 months were the same babies who looked at magic objects for a very long time at 17 months,” the study summarizes.
There was also little change in the less interested babies over the six-month period. Going forward, the team plans to follow the cohort to identify how the differences between the children persist.