Author(s): Williamson RA, Jaswal VK, Meltzoff AN
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Abstract 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. Copyright 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
This article was published in Dev Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior