Research Digest: Toddler self-awareness across cultures

There's a simple and fun way to test a toddler's self-awareness. You make a red mark (or place a red sticker) on their forehead discreetly, and then you see what happens when they look in a mirror. If they have a sense of self then they will see that there is a strange red mark on their face and attempt to touch it or remove it.

This is called the 'mirror self-recognition test' and by age two most kids 'pass' the test, at least in Western countries. Several studies have suggested that the ability to pass the test is delayed, sometimes by years, in some on-Western cultures.

But now a new study discussed on our Research Digest blog says this may be because the mirror test is culturally biased.