Can Babies Discriminate? Study Explores How Bias Begins

baby boy shrugging

When it comes to how we learn to perceive others as “different,” there’s a lot of things going on in all of our brains – even baby’s. Psychologists call our positive or negative views of those like or unlike us “biases,” but it’s not really clear where they come from. Some psychologists have even wondered if we’re just born with it. Previous research has shown that children tend to demonstrate negative biases around the age of 3, but it’s been unclear if the toddler set holds them.

New research from the University of British Columbia gives us a hint of how bias develops in little brains. By the age of one, babies don’t have any positive or negative feelings toward people who aren’t like them, according to a new study in Developmental Science, suggesting that this bias is learned and not innate.

“Persistent discrimination and conflict across cultures has led psychologists to question whether we are naturally inclined to…

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