This little girl, as her onesie says, has “got this princess thing all figured out.” A viral video shows this sweet little girl staring directly at her mother and attempting to fool her with a “fake cry.” It appears as if she has worked out that crying gets her mom’s attention and is using this new discovery to maximum effect – but perhaps the phone her mom is using to record her is confusing her!
Alternating between tears and shaking lips and checking to see if her mom is watching, it is clear this baby has something else up her sleeve. The noises she makes – as well as how well she mimics real crying – are enough to qualify her for extreme cuteness and maybe an Oscar too! The moments in which she’s really putting it on are enough to fool us – but perhaps not her mother. When her mom asks, “what’s wrong,” she turns away and squeals so that her mom can call her bluff. But fake crying isn’t all deception!
Researchers have found that fake crying is common among babies and that many of their tantrums may, in fact, be just ways to get attention. The Medical Daily writes that the trick to identifying fake crying is to see how the baby pauses between cries to see if someone is paying attention – just like in this video!
It is also important to watch out for how quickly the baby recovers their composure after and starts showing positive moods again. Though this news may confirm the concerns of some fed-up parents, it is an important development for the baby’s cognitive ability to recognize the power of fake crying!
As a baby starts to understand that fake crying can get their parents to pay attention to them, they begin to understand the principle of cause and effect, not to mention how to take advantage of this! It is, as all adults will attest to, an invaluable social skill. But there is also some debate as to whether we should refer to this as “fake” crying.
Tracy Cassels, a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia in Canada, says that babies are only capable of crying so there isn’t too much deception going on.
“I would call it a calling cry,” Cassels says. In other words, if this little girl was able to she might just say “Mom, I want some milk!”
At the same time, this little girl seems to have it going on in her little head – especially with that onesie on! Dr. Vasudevi Reddy of the University of Portsmouth’s psychology department is more interested in the ability of babies to lie, and claims that some develop this skill as early as 6 months old.
The little girl in this video is certainly out to trick her mom – as we can see when she checks to see if her mom is watching – but it is also conceivable that she is just exploring what happens when she cries. Whatever the cause, she can’t have expected her mom taking a video that has gone viral on the internet!