Accessibility links

Study Finds Babies Can Copy Adult Tenacity

  • Associated Press

FILE - Two toddlers enjoy a ride at a child care site near Frankfurt, Germany. A new study says tykes can become more persistent in pursuing a goal if they've just seen an adult struggle at a task before succeeding.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again — especially if a baby is watching.

A new study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says children about 15 months old can become more persistent in pursuing a goal if they've just seen an adult struggle at a task before succeeding.

In the research, that happened even though the babies had to solve a different problem than the grown-ups did.

The children tried their own tasks after watching a woman solve two challenges. Some saw the woman appear to struggle before she succeeded, and others saw her succeed quite easily. The children who watched the struggle were more persistent.

The researchers say the results suggest there may be value in letting children "see you sweat.''

The study was released Thursday by the journal Science.

XS
SM
MD
LG