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Research has found that preschoolers' imitation demonstrates in-group bias and is guided by behavior efficacy. However, little is known about whether children's sensitivity to behavior efficacy affects their in-group imitation. This study aimed to investigate preschoolers' imitation tendency when group preference and behavior efficacy are in conflict. Participants were 4-year-old (N = 72) and 6-year-old (N = 72) preschoolers in China. They observed two demonstrators (one in-group and one out-group) pressing two different buttons, respectively, to turn on a music box, and were then asked to try it themselves. In the experimental condition, the out-group demonstrator always succeeded, whereas the in-group demonstrator failed half the time. The results showed that more 6-year-old children imitated the less-effective behaviors of the in-group demonstrator, whereas 4-year-old children showed no such inclination. Two control conditions confirmed that children chose to imitate in-group rather than out-group members (Control 1: both in-group and out-group demonstrators succeeded all four times), and could imitate according to efficacy (Control 2: two in-group demonstrators succeeded two and four times, respectively). These results indicated that 6-year-olds faithfully followed the in-group modeled behavior, regardless of behavior efficacy. Results are discussed through the social function of in-group imitative learning.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Engaging in any type of conflict including war or military conflict against another nation or organized group..
A situation in which an individual might benefit personally from official or professional actions. It includes a conflict between a person's private interests and official responsibilities in a position of trust. The term is not restricted to government officials. The concept refers both to actual conflict of interest and the appearance or perception of conflict.
A conflict occurring from 1954 through 1975 within the Republic of Vietnam. It involved neighboring nations and the United States and other members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.
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The gradual expansion in complexity and meaning of symbols and sounds as perceived and interpreted by the individual through a maturational and learning process. Stages in development include babbling, cooing, word imitation with cognition, and use of short sentences.
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