I like social experiments just as much as the next person, (probably the reason for my twin-fetish season), so this "broken-toy experiment" caught my eye this morning during my daily perusal of the news.*
Researchers put a toddler (usually two) into a room and gave him a toy, warning him to be very careful with it. The toy is engineered to break as soon as the child picks it up, causing the little guy to think he disobediently destroyed the object. Mean. But scientifically invaluable. What would usually follow is "surprise [in the child], a mild discomfort, a sheepish look, and attempts to repair the toy." Breakthrough! The test suggests that in the second year, humans have already developed a basic springboard of morals to prepare themselves for a life of breaking things, discomfort, sheep and trying to fix problems with the effectiveness of chubby, underdeveloped fingers and limited dexterity.
I think the parallels between researcher and cell phone distributors needn't be drawn here. And the sheepish look we all get on our faces when we realize we can't Ctrl+Z a text mis-fire, (no, no, it was about you, not to you.) And cue mild discomfort.
*A 30 second look at NYTimes.com, giving me the pseudo-confidence I need to face the day full of political questions and mini current events quizzes. "Did you see that angry guy with the turban in the news today?" "Yeah, he looked angry."
**Shauna, these asterisks are for you.