Bouncing in Unison with Babies Installs Altruistic Behaviour in Them


Bouncing in sync with babies, to music, could install altruistic behaviour and nature of helpfulness in them, according to a McMaster University study.

Previous studies showed that people who move in unison with others in activities like marching, dancing and rowing a boat are more likely to bond and work together.

This is the first study to observe the effect on babies. Researchers said that 14-month-old babies are more likely to help the person with whom they experienced bouncing up and down in time to music.

"Moving in sync with others is an important part of musical activities," said Laura Cirelli, lead author of a paper, in a press release. "These effects show that movement is a fundamental part of music that affects social behavior from a very young age."

For the study, researchers observed the altruistic behaviour of 68 babies after they bounced to music with their partners. They wanted to determine whether they would hand over accidentally dropped objects to their partners.

In the study, some babies bounced in sync with their partners while the others moved at a different rhythm. When the song was over, the partners then performed several simple tasks including drawing a picture with a marker. While drawing the picture, partners would voluntarily drop the marker to check whether infants would pick it up and give it back to them.

This experiment would determine altruism in babies.

The researchers found that babies who bounced in time with their partners were more likely to pick up the object and hand it to them as compared to those who bounced at a different pace.

The finding will be published in the journal Developmental Science.

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