From all that, the researchers below conclude that babies born into a multilingual household will grow up more tolerant -- a complete non-sequitur full of too many assumptions to name -- though the fact that they did not examine any multilingual households may be mentioned.
Such knotheaded folly is less surprising when we see who is the chief researcher concerned. Elizabeth Spelke has a quite crippling leftward lean. Her grip on reality is so tenuous that she claimed recently that there is "not a shred of evidence" for inborn male/female differences in abilities -- despite around a century of evidence showing that females have better language abilities and males have better mathematical abilities.
Quite obviously, Spelke has a robotlike inability to see, hear or think anything except that which supports her ideology. Like most Leftists, Spelke is incapable of admitting that preference for others who are similar to oneself is not "racism" but is basically human. So when they find out how basically human it is they quickly have to invent circumstances when it would not happen.
A study of newborn babies and preschoolers has revealed that language may be the root of prejudice - and the way to avoid it. US and French researchers have found that the language babies hear spoken in their first six months of life leads to a preference for speakers of that language. The preference is so entrenched that by age five youngsters prefer playmates who not only speak the same language but do so with the same accent.
A key implication ["implication"? A wild extrapolation, more accurately] of the findings - reported in the US publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Science - is that children exposed to different languages grow into more tolerant adults than their monolingual mates. University of Sydney linguist Stephen Crain tended to agree: "I've always thought it would be beneficial to expose our children to more than one language," he said. "If they no longer have a prejudice against people who don't sound the same as they, they may be more accepting of people from different backgrounds who don't sound the same," Professor Crain said.
Cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, conducted a series of experiments with Harvard doctoral student Katherine Kinzler and Emmanuel Dupoux of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. They judged the preferences of three groups of children. Five-to six-month-old infants looked at native speakers longer than non-native speakers. Ten-month-olds selected toys most often from native speakers, and most five-year-olds chose native speaking playmates over children with an accent.
According to Professor Spelke, the most surprising result came from the group's experiment with five-year-olds. "The findings suggest that (the preference) has nothing to do with information, the semantics of language, but rather with group identity," she said.
Perhaps I should mention that not all psychologists are as cognitively handicapped as Spelke. Social psychology textbook author Roger Brown (1986) surveyed the large body of extant psychological research on the genesis of group loyalty and group identification and concluded that they are are rooted in "universal ineradicable psychological processes". In other words, group loyalty is not only normal but universal.
Brown, R. (1986) Social psychology. (2nd. Ed.) N.Y.: Free Press
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)