Want to keep your wallet? Carry a baby picture

The Times Online reports on a study from Scotland (led by a chap with the apt name of Wiseman) in which wallets were planted around Edinburgh. Some of the wallets contained photographs. The wallets that contained pictures of babies were returned much more often than others.

The article states:

According to Dr Wiseman the result reflects a compassionate instinct towards vulnerable infants that people have evolved to ensure the survival of future generations. “The baby kicked off a caring feeling in people, which is not surprising from an evolutionary perspective,” he said. Scientists argue that it would be difficult to genetically code for feeling empathy exclusively towards your own child and much easier to code for feeling empathy towards all children.

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