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ERIC Number: EJ872561
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
Verbal Imitation Is Based on Intention Understanding
Over, Harriet; Gattis, Merideth
Cognitive Development, v25 n1 p46-55 Jan-Mar 2010
Using an elicited imitation paradigm, we investigated whether young children imitate the communicative intentions behind speech. Previous research using elicited imitation has shown that children tend to correct ungrammatical sentences. This finding is usually interpreted as evidence that children, like adults, remember and reproduce the gist of linguistic information. In three studies, we tested whether this tendency is also a product of their intention understanding. Replicating and extending previous research by Meltzoff [Meltzoff A. N. (1995). Understanding the intentions of others: Re-enactment of intended acts by 18-month-old children. "Developmental Psychology, 31", 838-850], our first two experiments showed that children tend to correct ungrammatical sentences. A critical third experiment showed that children correct ungrammatical sentences only when they believe the model to be an intentional agent. These results complement previous findings from the action domain and strongly support the claim that imitation is based on understanding the intentions of others. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A