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The present work documents how the logic of a model's demonstration and the communicative cues that the model provides interact with age to influence how children engage in social learning. Children at ages 12, 18, and 24 months (n=204) watched a model open a series of boxes. Twelve-month-old subjects only copied the specific actions of the model when they(More)
Previous research suggests that chimpanzees understand single invisible displacement. However, this Piagetian task may be solvable through the use of simple search strategies rather than through mentally representing the past trajectory of an object. Four control conditions were thus administered to two chimpanzees in order to separate associative search(More)
Children are surrounded by objects that they must learn to use. One of the most efficient ways children do this is by imitation. Recent work has shown that, in contrast to nonhuman primates, human children focus more on reproducing the specific actions used than on achieving actual outcomes when learning by imitating. From 18 months of age, children will(More)
Much of humans' success rests on foresight, the ability to predict what will happen or what is needed in the future. Surprisingly little is known about how this faculty develops. In three experiments (N = 170), 3- and 4-year-old children were presented with simple puzzles. Fifteen minutes later in a different room they were given the opportunity to secure a(More)
Three studies (N=144) investigated how toddlers aged 18 and 24 months pass the surprise-mark test of self-recognition. In Study 1, toddlers were surreptitiously marked in successive conditions on their legs and faces with stickers visible only in a mirror. Rates of sticker touching did not differ significantly between conditions. In Study 2, toddlers failed(More)
Unlike other animals, human children will copy all of an adult's goal-directed actions, including ones that are clearly unnecessary for achieving the demonstrated goal. Here we highlight how social affiliation is key to this species-specific behavior. Preschoolers watched 2 adults retrieve a toy from a novel apparatus. One adult included irrelevant actions(More)
Children often "overimitate," comprehensively copying others' actions despite manifest perceptual cues to their causal ineffectuality. The inflexibility of this behavior renders its adaptive significance difficult to apprehend. This study explored the boundaries of overimitation in 3- to 6-year-old children of three distinct cultures: Westernized, urban(More)
Human children copy others' actions with high fidelity, supporting early cultural learning and assisting in the development and maintenance of behavioral traditions [1]. Imitation has long been assumed to occur from birth [2-4], with influential theories (e.g., [5-7]) placing an innate imitation module at the foundation of social cognition (potentially(More)
To date, developmental research has rarely addressed the notion that imitation serves an interpersonal, socially based function. The present research thus examined the role of social engagement on 24-month-olds' imitation by manipulating the social availability of the model. In Experiment 1, the children were more likely to imitate the exact actions of a(More)