Shopping Cart Study – Self Awareness

An experiment was conducted on babies to study the development of self awareness about a problem that was put in front of them. A Toy shopping cart had a towel attached to the base of the cart and towel was spread little so that babies were made to stand on it. Mothers were told to encourage their babies to move the cart forward.

Shopping Cart study - self awareness

When an 14 months old baby was made to stand on the towel, it clinged to the cart pushing it hard. The baby understood the cart had wheels but it was not able to move forward. Without leaving the position from towel, it kept pulling and pushing the cart. What could happen if we stand on the towel and push it harder? Old humans know about the fault but young infants aren’t in the position to debug the situation. After few tries frustration and anger compensated the efforts. Frustration made them climb on the cart, push the cart violently and do some crazy stuffs. Babies do not know that frustation cannot move the cart but they kept trying in every wrong way to fail every time.

When an 18 months old baby was put into the same situation, it initially tried to push hard. After few tries of failure, baby understood there was an issue and moved to front and did a 360 degree analysis. Reaching back to the towel it tried to push the cart again by standing on towel. Realizing the issue of towel attached to the cart and the baby was standing on the towel, it stepped out and pushed the cart making it move towards the mother.

Another 18 months old baby rolled the towel and clipped it to the base of cart and started pushing the cart.

Almost all the babies of 18 months successfully made it in moving the cart.

Shopping Cart study - self awareness

This experiment is an example of humans lacking self awareness. We are born young with no awareness and through the analysis we develop ability to be self aware of the situations.

Every human face this point in life by not progressing further or land in a problem which looks impossible to solve. They struggle and frustrate, try every possible way like the 14 month old baby trying to push the cart forward without understanding the reason they are held in the same position. Frustration takes over, humans scream and cry low when there is no one around. With time and maturity we start to understand that every problem has a solution. It just needs time to understand that problems aren’t created by someone else, it is created by us to us. We just have to analyze, research, experiment, be patient, think deep and narrow down the problem – Solution comes handy.

More such posts on to help you ! One of the most read post so far by my reading community “Psychology of Waiting in Queue” 🙂

Thanks for Reading this short post.

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