The Power of Whining

There’s a new breakthrough in the attempt to appreciate whining:

Whines, cries, and motherese: Their relative power to distract,” Rosemarie Sokol Chang and Nicholas S. Thompson, Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2011, 5(2), 131-141. The authors, at SUNY New Paltz and Clark University, explain:

“Distraction was measured in terms of number of subtraction problems completed, errors made, and a proportion score of errors to problems completed, for each condition…. In absolute numbers, participants were most distracted by whines, followed by infant cries and motherese.”