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Study of an Infant's mind

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Psychological
study comes in
many forms, but
at the heart lies
the study of the
mind.

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One of the most
enigmatic fields of
psychological
study in practice
today entails the
exploration of the
minds of very
young children and
infants.
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Obtaining hard data about the experiences and


perceptions of these youngest subjects of study
has been quite difficult until very recently.
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The most obvious
barrier to undertaking
these studies has been
that of language based
communication, but
scientists have
discovered other ways
to collect empirical
data on the subject.
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This data has been used
in a published study
which found that in
some ways, the
consciousness of infants
is superior to that of the
average adult,
specifically in the fields
of empathy,imagination, http://www.cimhd.org/img/09.jpg
and even intelligence in
some cases.
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As we grow older
and engage in more
experiences, we
build up mental
filters that serve
various functions.

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For example, when driving
we train ourselves to ignore
irrelevant visual data, while
at the same time pay close
attention to things like road
signs and the movement of
cars around us.
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Infants who have just come into existence on
this planet have virtually no filters, and are
simply “along for the ride” to a large extent.

http://www.yale.edu/infantlab/Welcome_files/shapeimage_2.jpg

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They absorb all external stimuli
like a sponge, as they have not
had the experience necessary to
develop such filters.

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Infants and very young children have been


found to be much more observant on average
than teens and adults.
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This is best illustrated in the case of toddlers;


their consciousness occupies an interesting gray
area in which they have a basic set of filters, but
are still very observant and open-minded.
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Most parents have been
caught off guard by a
question or idea that
their child has
expressed at one time or
another, surprised by its
ability to cut straight to
the heart of the issue. http://www.ct-aimh.org/images/4ul_1xuq%5B1%5D.jpg

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They may see a solution to a problem that their


parent had been unable to even imagine due to
their acquisition of mental filters, which can
inadvertently “toss out” what may be relevant
information.
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The focus of
the mental
filters we
acquire over
time is not
limited strictly
to observational
data, but also
the emotional
data. http://www.ioe.ucla.edu/media/images/42-16606408.jpg

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This is likely one of the
reasons that young
children are more
intensely affected by the
feelings of others, as well
as experiences of loss
such as the death of a pe

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As we grow older we
learn to disconnect
ourselves in many ways
from the pain of others.

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ealth/fhe114.jpg

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This can indeed serve a
useful purpose,
preventing strong
emotions from unduly
influencing our actions
or interfering with our
ability to reason.
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On the other hand, this increased sensitivity can


enhance a young child or infant’s ability to
relate to or feel sympathy for others, which can
be a useful characteristic in social or family
situations.
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When we understand these differences in the


way the minds of our children operate we start
to see that rather than occupying a lower plane
of consciousness, the mental space they live in is
simply different.
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It is no less
significant, and we
find that perhaps
through their
experiences and
observations we can
learn something
about ourselves as
well.
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Sponsored By

Argosy University has developed a curriculum that


focuses on interpersonal skills and practical
experience alongside academic learning.
Helping Psychology is sponsored by Argosy University.

www.argosy.edu