Document Detail

The development of social learning in interactive and observational contexts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23164286     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
From the first year of life, imitative learning readily occurs in contexts where a demonstrator directly interacts with infants (i.e., "interactive contexts"), and at least by 18months, imitation will also occur in third-party or observational contexts where infants witness a demonstration by another person that is not directed at them. However, it remains unclear whether imitation is differentially facilitated in these two contexts in young children. In the current experiment, we tested both imitation and emulation learning in younger (18months) and older (24months) infants in three different social learning conditions: interactive, social observational, and solitary observational. We found that the younger group imitated novel actions more after interactive demonstration than after solitary observational demonstration; older infants imitated equally in all conditions. Emulation occurred equally in all conditions for the younger group, but the older group emulated significantly less in the interactive condition than in the solitary observational condition. Furthermore, we found that mirror self-recognition was related to imitation in the solitary observational condition. These results suggest that imitation is initially facilitated by direct interaction but that by the end of the second year can occur just as easily in noninteractive contexts. This change may be dependent on developments in social cognition, in particular, the understanding of self-other equivalence.
Heath Matheson; Chris Moore; Nameera Akhtar
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-11-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental child psychology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-0457     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Child Psychol     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985128R     Medline TA:  J Exp Child Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4J1. Electronic address:
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