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Children Selectively Trust Individuals Who Have Imitated Them

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Author(s)

Harriet Over, Malinda Carpenter, Russell Spears, Merideth Gattis

School/Research organisations

Abstract

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.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Development
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • being imitated, social imitation, trust, preference, SPEAKERS, MIMICRY, PREFERENCES, CHAMELEONS, INFORMANTS, MODELS

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