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ERIC Number: EJ981145
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Determinants of Imitation of Hand-to-Body Gestures in 2- and 3-Year-Old Children
Erjavec, Mihela; Horne, Pauline J.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v89 n2 p183-207 Mar 2008
Twenty children, ten 2-year-olds and ten 3-year-olds, participated in an AB procedure. In the baseline phase, each child was trained the same four matching relations to criterion under intermittent reinforcement. During the subsequent imitation test, the experimenter modeled a total of 20 target gestures (six trials each) interspersed with intermittently reinforced baseline trials. In each session, target gestures were selected in a pre-randomized sequence from: Set 1--ear touches; Set 2--shoulder touches; Set 3--midarm touches; and Set 4--wrist touches; subjects' responses to targets were not reinforced. In each target set, half the gestures featured in nursery matching games and were termed "common targets" whereas the remainder, which were topographically similar but did not feature in the games, served as "uncommon targets". The children produced significantly more matching responses to common target models than to uncommon ones. Common responses were also produced as mismatches to uncommon target models more often than vice versa. Response accuracy did not improve over trials, suggesting that "parity" did not serve as a conditioned reinforcer. All children showed a strong bias for "mirroring"--responding in the same hemispace as the modeler. The 2-year-olds produced more matching errors than the 3-year-olds and most children showed a bias for responding with their right hands. The strong effects of training environment (nursery matching games) are consistent with a Skinnerian account, but not a cognitive goal theory account, of imitation in young children. (Contains 4 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Wales)