Children Are Like Rats

16 08 2010

I’m a huge fan of the WNYC radio program, “Radiolab”.  The most recent episode fits in perfectly with some of what I’ve been saying about the power of language, words, and articulation.  Check out this stunning video that accompanies the program.  (And how long does it take you to “get” it?)

(If you can’t see the video, click HERE.  It’s seriously worth it!)

Quick quiz: You watch a movie clip in which a boy is playing with his toy train.  He puts the train in the toy box, tells his little brother not to touch it, and leaves the room.  As soon as he leaves, the little brother takes it out and hides it under the bed.  A few minutes later, the older brother comes back into the room.  Question: Where will he look for the train?

Seems obvious, right?  Would you believe that some grown adults of normal intelligence get this question wrong?  The reason why has to do with words – and also explains how, when it comes to language, children think just like rats until they’re about six years old.

Give the most recent episode a listen.  I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

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