Imitation: definitions, evidence, and mechanisms

  title={Imitation: definitions, evidence, and mechanisms},
  author={Thomas R. Zentall},
  journal={Animal Cognition},
  • T. Zentall
  • Published 26 September 2006
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Animal Cognition
Imitation can be defined as the copying of behavior. To a biologist, interest in imitation is focused on its adaptive value for the survival of the organism, but to a psychologist, the mechanisms responsible for imitation are the most interesting. For psychologists, the most important cases of imitation are those that involve demonstrated behavior that the imitator cannot see when it performs the behavior (e.g., scratching one's head). Such examples of imitation are sometimes referred to as… 

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