Six-year-olds will pay to see bad guys get their comeuppance

Children as young as 6 have a thirst for vengeance. From this age, kids will willingly give up prized possessions to see a mean puppet get beaten up

CHILDREN as young as 6 want to see wrongdoers punished, it turns out.

Nikolaus Steinbeis of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and his team carried out a series of tests involving 72 children. Each of them watched Punch and Judy shows in which one puppet shared a toy with the child, while a second, nastier puppet taunted them instead

Then a third puppet would appear and randomly hit either of the two other puppets. After a few seconds, a curtain covered the action, but children could choose to “pay” with prized stickers to continue watching.

On average, 6-year-olds were willing to spend twice as much to see the bad puppet beaten than the generous one punished. This age seems to