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Under what conditions do children have difficulty in inhibiting imitation? Evidence for the importance of planning specific responses

Simpson, A and Riggs, KJ (2011) 'Under what conditions do children have difficulty in inhibiting imitation? Evidence for the importance of planning specific responses.' Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109 (4). pp. 512-524. ISSN 0022-0965

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Abstract

The response set effect has been observed in a number of developmental tasks that are proposed to required inhibition. This effect has been interpreted as evidence that the specific responses children plan to make in these tasks become prepotent. Here we investigated whether there is a response set effect in the hand game. In this task, children need to suppress imitation and make a fist in response to a finger and point a finger in response to a fist. Following pilot data, we tested 7- and 11-year-olds (N = 36, Experiment 1) and then 5- and 6-year-olds (N = 40, Experiment 2). A response set effect was observed in the hand game with children 6 years of age and older. Thus, we obtained evidence consistent with a domain-general intentional mechanism that modulates prepotency. In the General discussion, we consider how this mechanism may work and how our findings relate to current theories of imitation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Imitation; Inhibition; Intention; Child development; Response set; Prepotency
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2011 16:25
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:02
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1590

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