Babies, even 15-months-old, can identify the anger of adults. Interestingly, they have the ability to change their behavior in response to anger.
Psychologists have found that babies not only learn from their own social experiences but also from looking at social interactions of other people. This shows that babies have a good level of emotional intelligence that could be more than we think. They start learning about social environment and emotional reactions, and responding to them. They remember the people’s emotional history and know that the person is showing some form of strict emotion, therefore they react accordingly.
This research is also showing the self-control of babies that is important in life as, for example, in school readiness, social competence, and academic achievements. Researchers have found that babies with more impulsive nature, as told by parents, have more chances of not worrying about anger of adults. However, some babies have good self-control and consider the anger of adults.
Parents have to work on their babies, who start learning about others’ behaviors and start responding to them according to their self-control. Parents have to show different emotions in front of them. If they constantly show anger, babies may start learning that people usually remain in anger and they may also think that the world, in general, is an angry and unfriendly place.
“Temperament was related to infants’ self-regulation – infants with higher impulsivity scores were more likely to perform the forbidden acts. Taken together, these findings provide insight into the roots of executive functions in late infancy,” Researchers noted in the research.
Repacholi, B., Meltzoff, A., Rowe, H., & Toub, T. (2014). Infant, control thyself: Infants’ integration of multiple social cues to regulate their imitative behavior Cognitive Development, 32, 46-57 DOI: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.04.004