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揭秘:宝宝为何爱玩躲猫猫?

2014-04-29    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Why all babies love peekaboo

躲猫猫游戏风行世界各地,跨越语言和文化障碍,为何它如此普遍?也许因为它是一种强大的学习工具。

Peekaboo is a game played over the world, crossing language and cultural barriers. Why is it so universal? Perhaps because it’s such a powerful learning tool.

One of us hides our eyes and then slowly reveals them. This causes peals of laughter from a baby, which causes us to laugh in turn. Then we do it again. And again.

Peekaboo never gets old. Not only does my own infant daughter seem happy to do it for hours, but when I was young I played it with my mum ("you chuckled a lot!" she confirms by text message) and so on back through the generations. We are all born with unique personalities, in unique situations and with unique genes. So why is it that babies across the world are constantly rediscovering peekaboo for themselves?

Babies don't read books, and they don't know that many people, so thesurprising durability and cultural universality of peekaboo is perhaps a clue that it taps into something fundamental in their minds. No mere habit or fashion, the game can help show us the foundations on which adult human thought is built.

An early theory of why babies enjoy peekaboo is that they are surprised when things come back after being out of sight. This may not sound like a good basis for laughs to you or I, with our adult brains, but to appreciate the joke you have to realise that for a baby, nothing is given. They are born into a buzzing confusion, and gradually have to learn to make sense of what is happening around them. You know that when you hear my voice, I'm usually not far behind, or that when a ball rolls behind a sofa it still exists, but think for a moment how you came by this certainty.

The Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget called this principle'object permanence' and suggested that babies spent the first two years of their lives working it out. And of course those two years are prime peekaboo time. Looked at this way, the game isn't just a joke, but helps babies test and re-test a fundamental principle of existence: that things stick around even when you can't see them.

Maybe evolution fixed it so that babies enjoy peekaboo for its own sake, since it proved useful in cognitive development, but I doubt it. Something deeper than mere education is going on.

Surprise element

Peekaboo uses the fundamental structure of all good jokes - surprise, balanced with expectation. Researchers Gerrod Parrott and Henry Gleitman showed this in tests involving a group of six-, seven- and eight-month-olds which sound like more fun than a psychology experiment should be. Most of the time the peekaboo game proceeded normally, however on occasion the adult hid and reappeared as a different adult, or hid and reappeared in a different location. Videos of the infants were rated by independent observers for how much the babies smiled and laughed.

On these “trick trials” the babies smiled and laughed less, even though the outcome was more surprising. What's more, the difference between their enjoyment of normal peekaboo and trick-peekaboo increased with age (with the eight-month-olds enjoying the trick trials least). The researchers' interpretation for this is that the game relies on being able to predict the outcome. As the babies get older their prediction gets stronger, so the discrepancy with what actually happens gets larger - they find it less and less funny.


The final secret to the enduring popularity of peekaboo is that it isn't actually a single game. As the baby gets older their carer lets the game adapt to the babies' new abilities, allowing both adult and infant to enjoy a similar game but done in different ways. The earliest version of peekaboo is simple looming, where the carer announces they are coming with their voice before bringing their face into close focus for the baby. As the baby gets older they can enjoy the adult hiding and reappearing, but after a year or so they can graduate to take control by hiding and reappearing themselves.

In this way peekaboo can keep giving, allowing a perfect balance of what a developing baby knows about the world, what they are able to control and what they are still surprised by. Thankfully we adults enjoy their laughter so much that the repetition does nothing to stop us enjoying endless rounds of the game ourselves.(ChinaDaily)

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遮住双眼,手再缓缓移开。这样的动作会把婴儿逗得咯咯笑,我们也就跟着这一连串笑声笑了起来。接着就开始一直玩躲猫猫,一直玩。

躲猫猫永远不会过时。现在我女儿还很小,我们玩几个小时,她看上去都很开心;在我小的时候,妈妈也和我玩躲猫猫(“你总是咯咯大笑!”她在短信中确认道。),再回溯数代,均是如此。我们生来都具不同个性,生于不同背景,也有着不同基因。那么,为什么全世界的婴幼儿还是对躲猫猫乐此不疲呢?

宝宝不懂看书,也不认识那么多人,而躲猫猫游戏惊人的耐玩性,跨越文化的普遍性也许就是一种引导,它能接近孩子们心中最根本的想法。这不仅仅只是一种习惯或流行,它能帮助我们认清成人想法建立的基础。

早期,人们认为婴幼儿喜欢玩躲猫猫的原因是他们惊讶于一些东西消失后又神奇重现。这对于你我这样,因为有着成人思维,也许并不会觉得好笑,但是要理解这个笑声背后的原因,我们必须意识到,对于孩子,他们简单、单纯。他们降生于满腹疑惑的世界,慢慢地才学着搞懂周围发生的一切。你知道当你听到我的声音,我就在你不远处,或是当球滚到沙发背后,球其实还在,并没有消失,但是想想看,你是怎样建立起这样的肯定。

瑞士发展心理学家让·皮亚杰(Jean Piaget)把这种规律称为“物体恒存性”,并表示婴幼儿在出生头两年,都在学习这一规律。当然这两年就是玩躲猫猫的最佳时间。这么看吧,躲猫猫并不仅仅是玩笑,还帮会孩子试验及重新试验存在规律这一根本原理:即使你没看到物体,他仍旧在你周围。

也许进化把躲猫猫固化成游戏,所以婴幼儿玩躲猫猫纯粹为了好玩,据证实,躲猫猫在人类认知发展过程中起着重要作用,但我仍持怀疑态度。我认为,起作用的是一些比单纯的教育更深层的因素。

惊奇元素

躲猫猫有着玩笑共同的基本元素--惊奇与期望并存。研究人员谢拉德·帕洛特(Gerrod Parrott )及亨利· 格雷特曼(Henry Gleitman)对一组婴儿进行一系列测试,有六个月、七个月大的,也有八个月大的,结果看起来比心理学实验更有趣。大多数时候,躲猫猫按部就班地玩,然而有时,一个人躲起来,而一个人出现;或者藏起来后,这个人出现在另一地点。这些视频由一些独立的评论员评级,看看孩子们笑得开心程度。

在这些“花样测试”中,婴幼儿笑得更少,尽管结果更令人惊奇。另外,婴幼儿在普通躲猫猫及花样躲猫猫中的享受程度差异,随着年纪增大而增加(其中八个月大的最不喜欢花样测试)。研究人员对此解释说,这个游戏依赖于对结果的预测能力。婴幼儿越大,预测力就越强,所以他们做的预判与实际情况出入越大,他们就觉得越不好玩。

躲猫猫经久不衰的最终秘密就是,其实它并不是一款游戏。随着宝宝一天天地长大,带孩子的人会调整游戏以适合孩子新掌握的能力,使得孩子与大人都喜欢玩躲猫猫,纵然游戏相似,玩法却不一。最早的版本很简单,在孩子看到大人前,大人告诉孩子自己要来了。孩子长大后,他们懂得从大人的躲藏及反复出现找乐趣,但大概一岁多,他们逐渐学会自己躲起来,然后再出现。

这样一来,躲猫猫能够不断提供及保持一种完美平衡,介于发育中的婴儿对世界的认知、他们能控制什么及他们仍然什么感到惊讶。谢天谢地,我们大人还是很喜欢他们的笑声,不断的重复游戏并没有妨碍我们喜欢这个可以无限循环的游戏。


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