Bayi menunjukkan tanda-tanda moralitas bahkan sebelum mereka mengalami banyak pengalaman secara langsung di dunia.

Penelitian baru tentang moralitas bayi telah menyimpulkan bahwa mulai dari usia 14 bulan, bayi akan membantu orang lain secara spontan tanpa mengharapkan hadiah apapun (Warneken & Tomasello, 2007).

There has been an explosion of morality research with infants over the last decade. Experimental studies now show that infants already display inborn tendencies towards helping others.[1]

Consider the recent puppetry research with babies: One puppet helps (an individual). Another puppet hinders (a different individual). The babies observe the accommodating and unhelpful conduct. Infants as young as three months respond differently to those puppets.[2]

Six-month-olds also react positively to individuals who help others.[3] At 18 months of age, children themselves quite readily help others to achieve their goals.[4] Pro-sociality has been shown to emerge in children as young as two years of age.[5] And so on.

Although popular, the incorrect belief that humans are born inherently selfish, and then gradually become moral through religious teachings, lacks evidence.[6] For example, in one set of experiments, a person is unsuccessfully reaching for an object. Most of the infants helpfully hand over the object. Even 14-month-olds move to assist. On average, children helped others within 6.9 seconds in experimental trials.[7]

Early development of moral behavior sheds light on why faiths and worldviews are not necessary for the emergence of morality. Cooperativeness, moral judgment, egalitarianism, social evaluation, and proactive helping are inborn and universal. [8-15]

Pernyataan 3


  • Cummins, D.D. (1996). Evidence for the innateness of deontic reasoning. Mind and Language, 11, 160–190. PDf
  • Cummins, D.D. (1996). Evidence of deontic reasoning in 3- and 4-year-olds. Memory and Cognition, 24, 823–29.
  • Engelmann, J. M., Herrmann, E., Rapp, D., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Young children (sometimes) do the right thing even when their peers do not. Cognitive Development, 39, 86-92. PDf
  • Fehr, E., Bernhard, H., & Rockenbach, B. (2008). Egalitarianism in young children. Nature454(7208), 1079-1083. PDf
  • Feiman, R., Carey, S., & Cushman, F. (2015). Infants’ representations of others’ goals: Representing approach over avoidance. Cognition, 136, 204-214.PDF
  • Hamlin, J. K., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P. (2007). Social evaluation by preverbal infants. Nature, 450, 557-559. PDF
  • Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P. (2010). Three-month-olds show a negativity bias in their social evaluations. Developmental Science, 13(6), 923-929. PDF
  • Heiphetz, L., Lane, J. D., Waytz, A., & Young, L. L. (2015). How Children and Adults Represent God's Mind. Cognitive science.PDF
  • Heiphetz, L., Spelke, E. S., & Young, L. L. (2015). In the name of God - How children and adults judge agents who act for religious versus secular reasons. Cognition, 144, 134-149.PDF
  • Leslie, A.M., Knobe, J., & Cohen, A. (2006). Acting intentionally and the side-effect effect: 'Theory of mind' and moral judgment. Psychological Science17,421–427. PDf
  • Leslie, A.M., Mallon, R., & DiCorcia, J.A. (2006). Transgressors, victims, and cry babies: Is basic moral judgment spared in autism? Social Neuroscience1 (3), 270 – 283. PDF
  • Riedl, K., Jensen, K., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2015). Restorative justice in children. Current Biology, 25(13), 1731-1735.PDF
  • Rossano, F., Fiedler, L., & Tomasello, M. (2015). Preschoolers’ understanding of the role of communication and cooperation in establishing property rights. Developmental psychology, 51(2), 176.PDF
  • Tasimi, A., & Young, L. (2016). Memories of good deeds past- the reinforcing power of prosocial behavior in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 147, 159-166. PDF
  • Ulber, J., Hamann, K., & Tomasello, M. (2015). How 18-and 24-month-old peers divide resources among themselves. Journal of experimental child psychology, 140, 228-244.PDF
  • Vaish, A., Herrmann, E., Markmann, C., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Preschoolers value those who sanction non-cooperators. Cognition, 153, 43-51. PDF
  • Vogelsang, M., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Giving is nicer than taking: Preschoolers reciprocate based on the social intentions of the distributor. PLoS One, 11(1)- e0147539. PDF
  • Warneken, F. (2016). Insights into the biological foundation of human altruistic sentiments. Current Opinion in Psychology, 7, 51-56. PDF
  • Warneken, F. (2013). The development of altruistic behavior: Helping in children and chimpanzees. Social Research, 80(2), 431-442. PDF
  • Warneken, F. (2013). Young children proactively remedy unnoticed accidents. Cognition, 126(1), 101-108. PDF
  • Warneken, F. , Hare, B., Melis, A.P., Hanus, D., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Spontaneous altruism by chimpanzees and young children. PLoS Biology, 5(7), e184. PDF
  • Warneken, F., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees. Science311(5765), 1301-1303. PDF
  • Warneken, F., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Helping and cooperation at 14 months of age. Infancy, 11(3), 271-294. PDF
  • Warneken, F., & Tomasello, M. (2009). Varieties of altruism in children and chimpanzees. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(9), 397-402. PDF
  • Warneken, F., Chen, F., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Cooperative activities in young children and chimpanzees. Child Development, 77 (3), 640-663. PDF
The studies linked on this page are accessible via the researchers' websites and other public domain sources. If not linked, those studies are only available via academic journals.

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