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ERIC Number: EJ1025766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7227
The Role of a Model's Age for Young Children's Imitation: A Research Review
Zmyj, Norbert; Seehagen, Sabine
Infant and Child Development, v22 n6 p622-641 Nov-Dec 2013
The influence of a model's age on young children's behaviour has been a subject of considerable debate among developmental theorists. Despite the recent surge of interest, controversy remains about the nature of peer influence in early life. This article reviews studies that investigated the influence of a model's age on young children's behaviour in the first 5?years of life, and presents an account of seemingly mixed results. We propose that children imitate familiar behaviour for social reasons, such as in order to identify with the model or to communicate likeness. Since age is an important indicator of the degree of being alike, we propose that children are more likely to imitate familiar behaviour from peers. In contrast, we propose that children primarily imitate novel behaviour for learning reasons. Since adults are perceived as being more competent than children, children are more likely to learn from adults. We further suggest that increased peer experience leads children to evaluate peers as valuable resources for learning novel behaviour in domains in which peers are knowledgeable.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A