Why can't adults sing and dance in public?

Posted on February 27, 2015

Photo: flickr

Standing away in corners while sticking to your own social cliques, giving furtive glances at each other, while the music plays in the background. Does that sound familiar to you? What about laughing your hearts out and dancing like crazy when you were 4 or 5 years old?

Why do we not want to be dancing to the latest Taylor Swift song while our little cousins are jumping, shaking to it? A team of researchers carried out a studied children ranging from 3 to 12 years old. And they suggested that the process of children losing their joy of singing and dancing is closely related to an important development in their understanding of people.

When we understand that everyone could have their own opinion, we might not feel like sharing our own opinion of our hip and trendy moves, thus we lose our performance mojo.

The change in preference was also measured with the children’s awareness that others might judge their performance using a task that measures “Theory of Mind” – our ability to understand that others have minds and opinions that differ from ours. The experiment found out that those who scored highly on “Theory of Mind” – meaning that they understood that others could have different opinions of their abilities – they are more likely not to perform. This applies to even young participants of 3-4 years old.
The reluctance of performing in public could be linked to the fear that others opinion of them might be negative. They might be judged based on their performance.
However, research have also showed that activities like singing and dancing are associated with health and happiness. Imagine 4 year old singing their lungs out to ‘Let it Go” from the recent Disney movie Frozen.

Hence, adults could actually learn something from these children.

Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from Scientific American