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Infants' rational imitation : does the model's reliability matter?

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Infants' rational imitation : does the model's reliability matter?

Brooker, Ivy (2009) Infants' rational imitation : does the model's reliability matter? Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The current study examined whether the reliability of an individual's gaze influences infants' decision to imitate her novel actions. Infants were first administered an object search task wherein they observed the experimenter display emotional signals while looking inside an empty container (unreliable condition) or a container with a toy inside (reliable condition). Infants in both conditions were then given the opportunity to imitate the same experimenter, who demonstrated turning on a press-on light using her forehead. Results from Experiment 1 revealed that 18-month-olds were capable of tracking a person's reliability, as their latency to open the container increased from the first to the last trial, only when exposed to the unreliable condition. Analyses of the proportion of infants who later imitated the experimenter's novel action showed no differences between the reliable and unreliable group, with both groups choosing to use their hands rather than their forehead. In Experiment 2, 14-month-olds were also able to track reliability as confirmed by the performance on the object search task. However, while infants in the unreliable group preferred to use their hands to turn on the light, those in the reliable group showed no preference for using either their forehead or hands. Taken together, these findings indicate that 14- month-olds, but not 18-month-olds, appear to be influenced by their previous exposure to a credible or non-credible looker. This suggests a developmental progression in infants' willingness to selectively learn from others, perhaps influenced by different age-dependent motivations.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Brooker, Ivy
Pagination:vii, 47 leaves : ill., forms ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Poulin-Dubois, D
ID Code:976346
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:24
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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