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ERIC Number: EJ871396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Learning the Rules: Observation and Imitation of a Sorting Strategy by 36-Month-Old Children
Williamson, Rebecca A.; Jaswal, Vikram K.; Meltzoff, Andrew N.
Developmental Psychology, v46 n1 p57-65 Jan 2010
Two experiments were used to investigate the scope of imitation by testing whether 36-month-olds can learn to produce a categorization strategy through observation. After witnessing an adult sort a set of objects by a visible property (their color; Experiment 1) or a nonvisible property (the particular sounds produced when the objects were shaken; Experiment 2), children showed significantly more sorting by those dimensions relative to children in control groups, including a control in which children saw the sorted endstate but not the intentional sorting demonstration. The results show that 36-month-olds can do more than imitate the literal behaviors they see; they also abstract and imitate rules that they see another person use. (Contains 3 tables, 4 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A