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ERIC Number: EJ876588
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
Beyond the Information Given: Infants' Transfer of Actions Learned through Imitation
Yang, Dahe; Sidman, Jason; Bushnell, Emily W.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v106 n1 p62-81 May 2010
Five experiments were conducted to investigate infants' ability to transfer actions learned via imitation to new objects and to examine what components of the original context are critical to such transfer. Infants of 15 months observed an experimenter perform an action with one or two toys and then were offered a novel toy that was not demonstrated for them. In all experiments, infants performed target actions with the novel toy more frequently than infants who were offered the same toy but had seen no prior demonstrations. Infants exhibited transfer even when the specific part to be manipulated looked different across the toys, even when they had not performed the actions with the demonstration toys themselves, even when the actions produced no effects on the demonstrations, and even when the actions were demonstrated with only a single exemplar toy. Transfer was especially robust when infants not only observed but also practiced the target actions on the demonstration trials. Learning action affordances ("means") seems to be a central aspect of human imitation, and the propensity to apply these learned action affordances in new object contexts may be an important basis for technological innovation and invention. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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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