Infants may cry and seem demanding, leading us to assume that they have no sense of what the adults in their lives need, but a new study presents the first evidence that a basic sense of fairness and altruism appears in infancy.

Babies as young as 15 months can perceive the difference between equal and unequal distribution of food, and their awareness of equal rations was linked to their willingness to share a toy. Psychologist Jessica Sommerville says, "Our findings show that these norms of fairness and altruism are more rapidly acquired than we thought. These results also show a connection between fairness and altruism in infants, such that babies who were more sensitive to the fair distribution of food were also more likely to share their preferred toy."

Previous studies reveal that 2-year-old children can help others, and that around age 6 or 7 they display a sense of fairness. Sommerville suspected that these qualities could be apparent at even younger ages, so she devised some experiments that turned out to validate her thesis.

Does this mean that some of us are born with more genes for altruism than others? Sommerville says, "It’s likely that infants pick up on these norms in a nonverbal way, by observing how people treat each other."

MANY of the contactees that Anne Strieber has interviewed for our subscribers spoke of finding a "family" when they encountered the Grays. In fact, Whitley’s new book "The Communion Enigma," which will be published in January and can be preordered now, is based on the fact that in–the thousands of letters he received after writing Communion, so many contactees spoke of meeting dead friends and relatives along with the "Grays."

Once you have purchased the book, you’ll need to either forward the e-receipt or send it as a jpg, screenshot (etc.) to the publisher. You will then receive an autoresponse that will include a link to a page where you can input your address. Tarcher will send a special "Communion Enigma" bookplate to the recipients shortly before publication date To learn more, click here.

The Grays and Communion are both hard to find in bookstores, but you can still get them from the Whitley Strieber Collection (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley!)

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