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Johns Hopkins University Research says ‘we like things because we choose them’

New Delhi,
Johns Hopkins University Researchers has found something which would definitely blow our minds to think over that again and again. They stated that we assume we choose things that we like, but research suggests that’s sometimes backward: We like things because we choose them, and we dislike things that we don’t choose.

Suggesting that this way of justifying choice –
The research says, when a baby reaches for one stuffed animal in a room filled with others just like it, that seemingly random choice is very bad news for those unpicked toys: the baby has likely just decided she doesn’t like what she didn’t choose. Though researchers have long known that adults build unconscious biases over a lifetime of making choices between things that are essentially the same, findings from Johns Hopkins University indicate that even babies engage in this phenomenon, suggesting that this way of justifying choice is intuitive and somehow fundamental to the human experience.

University of Pittsburgh said –
Co-author Alex Silver, former Johns Hopkins undergraduate who’s now a graduate student in cognitive psychology at the University of Pittsburgh said, “The act of making a choice changes how we feel about our options. Even infants who are really just at the start of making choices for themselves have this bias.”

Scientist specializing in child development –
“I chose this, so I must like it. I didn’t choose this other thing, so it must not be so good. Adults make these inferences unconsciously,” said co-author Lisa Feigenson, a Johns Hopkins cognitive scientist specializing in child development. “We justify our choice after the fact.”

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Team brought 10- to 20-month-old babies into the lab –
This makes sense for adults in a consumer culture who must make arbitrary choices every day, between everything from toothpaste brands to makes of cars to styles of jeans. The question, for Feigenson and Silver, was when exactly people start doing this. So they turned to babies, who don’t get many choices so are “a perfect window into the origin of this tendency,” Feigenson says. The team brought 10- to 20-month-old babies into the lab and gave them a choice of objects to play with: two equally bright and colorful soft blocks.

They set each block far apart, so the babies had to crawl to one or the other—a random choice. After the baby chose one of the toys, the researchers took it away and came back with a new option. The babies could then pick from the toy they didn’t play with the first time, or a brand new toy.

No real preference in the first place –
“The babies reliably chose to play with the new object rather than the one they had previously not chosen, as if they were saying, ‘Hmm, I didn’t choose that object last time, I guess I didn’t like it very much,'” Feigenson said. “That is the core phenomenon. Adults will like less the thing they didn’t choose, even if they had no real preference in the first place. And babies, just the same, dis-prefer the unchosen object.”
The research findings are published in Psychological Science journal.

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