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Children selectively trust individuals who have imitated them

Over, Harriet, Carpenter, Malinda, Spears, Russell and Gattis, Merideth Leigh 2013. Children selectively trust individuals who have imitated them. Social Development 22 (2) , pp. 215-224. 10.1111/sode.12020

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We investigated the influence of being imitated on children's subsequent trust. Five- to six-year-olds interacted with one experimenter who mimicked their choices and another experimenter who made different choices. Children were then presented with two tests. In a preference test, the experimenters offered conflicting preferences for the contents of two opaque boxes, and children were asked to choose a box. In a factual claims test, the experimenters offered conflicting claims about the referent for a novel word, and children were asked to state which object the word referred to. Children were significantly more likely to endorse both the preferences and the factual claims of the experimenter who had mimicked them. These results demonstrate that imitation is a powerful means of social influence in development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: being imitated; social imitation; trust; preference
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0961-205X
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 22:38

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