Psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) assert that pacifiers are not as harmless as young parents think. According to the new data obtained in the course of the study, pacifiers have a negative impact on the emotional development of a child.
Children learn to interact with others through imitation, and they copy the facial expressions of adults. That is how the child understands the feelings of another person. If a boy is given a pacifier, the process of learning the world through imitation will be broken.
An experiment was conducted with the participation of boys aged 6-7 years, college students and elderly men. The scientists interviewed their parents about the age when the baby used to be given a pacifier, and then the participants of the experiment were shown videos and were requested to repeat the facial expressions of the characters, showing different emotions. In such a way, a test for empathy was conducted. The Daily Mail writes that the worst results were shown by those who had used a pacifier for a long time in infancy.
Professor Paula Niedenthal says they talked to kids, but the latter would not understand what the words meant. At first, the children were able to perceive only the intonation and facial expression. With a pacifier in the mouth, the babies were almost unable to reflect and repeat them.
It is noteworthy that girls did not experience such a negative impact of a pacifier. Niedenthal said that the use of pacifiers did not have any adverse influence on the girls, and their emotional development was still in progress. This may be due to the fact that the nervous system is more vulnerable in boys than in girls.