In the life of adults, there are two determining factors on which behavior in society is based. First, we all know what is considered acceptable to other people, that they approve / do not approve, that they value. For example, it is unlikely that any of the adults will appear in a public place in pajamas, he will wear clothes that match the location and focus of the event. Second, we use this information to adjust our behavior.
Unlike other types, a person is inclined to change his behavior in society in order to earn approval. We spend precious time on makeup, on choosing the most successful picture and filter on Instagram, on writing ideas that could change the world and fit in 140 characters or less. It is very clear that our concern for how others will appreciate us is an inevitable part of the essence of man. Despite this trait of all representatives of humanity, we know relatively little about when and how we begin to worry about the opinions of other people.
At what age, at what stage of development do we begin to acutely perceive other people's assessments and judgments? When does a small child walking along the street in sliders without problems grow up into a person who avoids public speaking out of fear of being judged or ridiculed?
Sara Valencia Botto of Emory University is exploring the question of how old a person's reputation starts to worry, as well as factors contributing to interpersonal differences. Carrying out one of the experiments in a playful way, in which children from 14 to 24 months took part, Sarah revealed some patterns.
We shape children's behavior through values
From a very early age, children, like adults, are sensitive to assessment, which is expressed by different objects and forms of behavior. Moreover, children use this assessment to shape their behavior. Whether consciously or not, we constantly transmit our own values to the people around. We are not talking about values such as “be kind” or “do not steal,” although such instructions are very important. The point is that we constantly show others, especially our children, what we like and deserve praise, and what not. Often we don’t notice that we express such assessments. Psychologists study behavior to understand the contents of human consciousness, as often our behavior is a reflection of our beliefs, values and desires.
For example, there are people who unconditionally believe that Coca-Cola is better than Pepsi. They cannot give objective arguments, but the fact remains. In about the same way, we transmit our values when we give girls compliments, which most often relate to hair or dress, and to boys about their intelligence.Or when instead of a full meal we offer candy as a reward for good behavior. Both adults and children incredibly well feel subtle shades in the behavior of others. And, in turn, they come to the formation of their own behavior.
The results of Sarah's experiment show that such a susceptibility is formed very early - before the child can say a sentence or sit on the potty. And ultimately, this is an important part of who we eventually grow up to.
Think about the values you add to your daily communication and how your attitudes can influence other people's behavior. For example, what do you think, what values do you form when you smile at your phone screen more often than other people? And vice versa: how other people's attitudes influenced your own behavior in a way that you had not previously suspected. Ask yourself, do you really love Coca-Cola, not Pepsi? Or was your taste based on the preferences of others? Parents and teachers have much more opportunities to influence the nature and behavior of children. However, it is very important to remember that through a daily exchange of our own attitudes and values, we all have the power to influence each other's behavior.