Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Slater I 72
Imitation/psychological theories: by the mid-1970s the prevailing view was that imitation was very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain in infants prior to about six months or so, and that its appearance was gradual during the course of infancy, culminating in representational capacity in late infancy. (Maratos 1998(1), Gardner and Gardner 1970)(2), Maratos (1973)(3). >Imitation/Meltzoff.
Slater I 76
McKenzieVsMeltzoff: McKenzie and Over(1983)(4) were unable to replicate Meltzoff and Moore’s findings. Anisfeld et al (2001)(5) ditto.
Slater I 77
AnisfeldVsMeltzoff: (Anisfeld et al (2001(5))
JonesVsMeltzoff: (Jones 2006)(6) “thong protruding is a general response to interesting distal stimuli” leading to the suggestion that infants’ apparent imitation of an adult model’s TP [tongue protruding] is a sing of general arousal rather than true imitation.
MetzoffVsVs: >Explanation/Meltzoff.
See also >Imitation/Developmental psychology, >Imitation/Animal studies.


1. Maratos, O. (1998). Neonatal, early and later imitation: Same order phenomena? In F. Simion & G. Butterworth (Eds), The development of sensory, motor and cognitive capacities in early infancy: From perception to cognition (pp. 145–160). Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
2. Gardner, J. & Gardner, H. (1970). A note on selective imitation by a six-week-old infant. Child Development, 41, 1209-1213.
3. Maratos, O. (1973).The origin and development of imitation in the first six months of Life. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Geneva.


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


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