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ERIC Number: EJ830875
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Rational Imitation in 12-Month-Old Infants
Schwier, Christiane; van Maanen, Catharine; Carpenter, Malinda; Tomasello, Michael
Infancy, v10 n3 p303-311 Feb 2006
Gergely, Bekkering, and Kiraly (2002) demonstrated that 14-month-old infants engage in "rational imitation." To investigate the development and flexibility of this skill, we tested 12-month-olds on a different but analogous task. Infants watched as an adult made a toy animal use a particular action to get to an endpoint. In 1 condition there was a barrier that prevented a more straightforward action and so gave the actor no choice but to use the demonstrated action. In the other condition there was no barrier, so the actor had a free choice to use the demonstrated action or not. Twelve-month-olds showed the same pattern of results as in Gergely and colleagues' study: They copied the particular action demonstrated more often when the adult freely chose to use the action than when she was forced to use it. Twelve-month-olds, too, thus show an understanding of others' intentions as rational choices and can use this understanding in cultural learning contexts. (Contains 3 figures.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A