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Chapter 5

PSYC 190 Chapter 5: Press 5

Course Code
PSYC 190
David Warner

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Are we born knowing the difference between good and evil? Vs Taught our moral
beliefs by parents and society?
Babies are born as blank slates → parents and society teaches the moral code
Now: babies are born with an innate sense of morality
Parents and society only reinforce these ideas
Experiment: The Baby Lab
Dr. Karen Wynn runs the lab
Series of studies on babies under 24 months to see how much these
babies understand about good and bad behavior
1st: show baby 1 good and 1 bad behavior see which one the baby
Cat is trying to open the box
Bunny comes and helps the cat open the box
Another bunny comes to slam the box shut
Person will offer the child both bunnies at the same time
80% of the babies chose the good bunny → staring or reaching for it
3 months old → 87%
Conclusion: Even before babies can speak or walk → they judge good
and bad because they are born with a sense of justice
Opposing opinions
Babies might prefer one bunny over the other
By nature we are different and hostile towards strangers
Role of parents and society is to overcome these limitations and to further
develop the innate moral beliefs that already exist in baby’s minds
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