Children above the age of five are capable of understanding the facial gestures such as a smirk, frown and staring and it has an influence on how they behave towards others, according to a new research study.
The findings are based on a study of 350 children in the age group of 3 and 13. Four sets of experiments were conducted first of which involved showing a specific face and predicting what behaviour is associated with it. They were asked to judge whether the characters in the photo were nice, mean, trustworthy, dominant, competent or incompetent and such other characteristics. It was found that the children's assessment of faces matched that of adults in majority of the cases.
The findings have implications on how adults should behave to children especially caregivers and teachers. Children are capable of analysing facial features and gestures and hence care should be taken not only in the choice of words but also gestures.