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ERIC Number: EJ1050225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Social Context Effects in 2- and 4-Year-Olds' Selective versus Faithful Imitation
Yu, Yue; Kushnir, Tamar
Developmental Psychology, v50 n3 p922-933 Mar 2014
This study asked whether children's tendency to imitate selectively (ignore causally unnecessary actions) versus faithfully ("overimitate" causally unnecessary actions) varies across ages and social contexts. In the first experiment, 2-year-olds and 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to play 1 of 3 prior games with a demonstrator: a mimicry game, an instrumental game, or a noninteractive control game. They then participated in a puzzle-box imitation task in which the demonstrator performed 1 causally necessary and 1 unnecessary action to retrieve an object. Whereas 4-year-olds imitated faithfully across all conditions, 2-year-olds were more likely to imitate faithfully after a mimicry game and to imitate selectively after an instrumental game. Experiment 2 showed no effect of playing a mimicry game with a different experimenter prior to the imitation trials, thus ruling out 2-year-olds' faithful imitation being the result of motor priming or training effects. The results are discussed in terms of children's social affiliation and social-cognitive inferences.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1023179