Study shows monkeys are better than bears

Carrie McLaren carrie at stayfreemagazine.org
Mon Mar 12 14:07:18 EST 2001


Copyright 2001 MGN Ltd.
Sunday Mirror
March 11, 2001, Sunday


SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 44

LENGTH: 261 words

HEADLINE: WHY MONKEYS ARE BETTER THAN BEARS;
 TODDLERS LOVE TO SEE THEIR FACES

BYLINE: Doug Kempster

BODY:

IF you want your toddler to be happy, then it's better to buy them a cuddly
monkey than a traditional teddy bear.

The secret, say psychologists, is in the monkey's face. "Studies have shown
that babies as young as one-hour-old prefer to look at features resembling a
human face," psychology lecturer Dr Nick Neave, of the University of
Northumbria, said.

"Babies also like to look at faces that are attractive with features such as
big eyes, a small nose, large mouth and forehead - exactly those of a
monkey.

"Basically, the more similar an animal's face is to a human's, the better an
infant will respond.

"This explains why a baby would prefer a monkey to a teddy bear."

His comments come after research by supermarket chain Tesco showed children
preferred to look at monkeys, dogs, cats and even pigs rather than bears.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said: "We conducted informal research using the
babies of 60 staff members.

"Each child was shown a friendly image of a range of animals and the child's
mood was observed.

"Eight out of 10 babies stopped crying and smiled when shown the face of a
monkey."

Claire Pawson, whose 15-month-old daughter Olivia took part in the research,
added: "Like most other mothers, I gave Olivia teddies and bunnies. It never
occurred to me that I should be buying monkeys.

Tesco Baby Club Manager Sarah Baldock said: "For years we've never
questioned conventional wisdom, assuming teddy bears are the most baby-
friendly image available.

"These findings suggest we were wrong all along."

GRAPHIC: COMFORTING: Babies like monkeys best of all. But they'd also rather
have a dog, cat or pig than a bear.





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