Children become attached to a blankie or a toy for much the same reason that most of us don’t want to own or touch anything belonging to a murderer. Somehow, we (and the children) believe that there’s an essence that belongs to people or things that can rub off. At least that’s what scientists are saying. Personally, I think they’ve established that children love their blankies but they haven’t really figured out why yet.
They did a study where they had a machine that magically copied objects. (Really a researcher slid out a second object.) Children were ok with the copies of all objects except the copy of their blankie. Then only the original would do. The only other exception they found was when the object was special because it belonged to someone special:
This unique property also applied to objects belonging to famous
people. Hood and Bloom placed a metal goblet in the copying machine and
told 6-year-olds that the object was special either because it was made
of a precious metal or because it once belonged to the Queen.
shown the original and a copy, children thought the duplicate silver
goblet was worth the same as the original, but a goblet that once
belonged to royalty was worth more than any copy.
So the next time you are getting frustrated with your child for wanting to carry their blankie or favorite stuffed animal into the swimming pool, ask yourself, would you want to wear a murderer’s gloves?
Photo by frogmuseum2.