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ERIC Number: EJ1006633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Infants Show Stability of Goal-Directed Imitation
Sakkalou, Elena; Ellis-Davies, Kate; Fowler, Nia C.; Hilbrink, Elma E.; Gattis, Merideth
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v114 n1 p1-9 Jan 2013
Previous studies have reported that infants selectively reproduce observed actions and have argued that this selectivity reflects understanding of intentions and goals, or goal-directed imitation. We reasoned that if selective imitation of goal-directed actions reflects understanding of intentions, infants should demonstrate stability across perceptually and causally dissimilar imitation tasks. To this end, we employed a longitudinal within-participants design to compare the performance of 37 infants on two imitation tasks, with one administered at 13 months and one administered at 14 months. Infants who selectively imitated goal-directed actions in an object-cued task at 13 months also selectively imitated goal-directed actions in a vocal-cued task at 14 months. We conclude that goal-directed imitation reflects a general ability to interpret behavior in terms of mental states. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A