Daniel J. Kruger

Why Babies Are So Cute - And Why We React the Way We Do

an In The Media Reference

"Why Babies Are So Cute - And Why We React the Way We Do" - Discover Magazine. 11/13/2019.

Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan, believes cuteness can be explained through something called life history theory. It's a framework for understanding how natural selection may have shaped a species' anatomy and behavior at different stages of life.

At birth, many species must fend for themselves, such as the brush turkeys of Australia and Indonesia. Juveniles hatch fully feathered and virtually ready to fly. Other species, particularly mammals, are born fairly helpless and rely on parental care for an extended period.

"Every organism has limited resources, so how are we going to allocate that effort? It's always a trade-off," says Kruger. "We see a convergence of high intelligence and slower development. … There is a need for parental care because the brain is developing over a longer period of time."

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Daniel J. Kruger

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