Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Slater I 71
Imitation/Piaget: for Piaget, for the first nine to ten months there are behaviors that can be interpreted as imitation, but this is often illusory: if a model (e.g., adult) imitates a sound or gesture that the infant produces, the infant is likely to continue making the sound/gesture, but this may be simply repeating his/her own actions rather than reproducing (imitating) another’s actions. In the Piagetian account the first “true” imitation emerges, and the infant is able to produce imitative behaviors that she cannot see, such as movement of the lips, around eight to ten months. A major development in imitative ability occurs towards the end of infancy, around 18 months, which is the capacity for deferred imitation. (Piaget 1951)(1). >Representation/Piaget, >Imitation/Meltzoff.


1. Piaget, J. (1951). Play, dreams, and imitation in childhood. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Alan M. Slater, “Imitation in Infancy. Revisiting Meltzoff and Moore’s (1977) Study”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Piag I
J. Piaget
The Psychology Of The Child 2nd Edition 1969

Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012


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