Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/22152
Title: 
Authors: 
Subjects: 
Social learning
Faithful imitation
Goal emulation
Individual differences
Principle component analysis
Confirmatory factor analysis
Issue Date: 
2020
Citation: 
Yu, Y., & Kushnir, T. (2020). The ontogeny of cumulative culture: Individual toddlers vary in faithful imitation and goal emulation. Developmental Science, 23(1), Article e12862. https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12862.
Abstract: 
The success of human culture depends on early emerging mechanisms of social learning, which include the ability to acquire opaque cultural knowledge through faithful imitation, as well as the ability to advance culture through flexible discovery of new means to goal attainment. This study explores whether this mixture of faithful imitation and goal emulation is based in part on individual differences which emerge early in ontogeny. Experimental measurements and parental reports were collected for a group of 2‐year‐old children (N = 48, age = 23–32 months) on their imitative behavior as well as other aspects of cognitive and social development. Results revealed individual differences in children's imitative behavior across trials and tasks which were best characterized by a model that included two behavioral routines; one corresponding to faithful imitation, and one to goal emulation. Moreover, individual differences in faithful imitation and goal emulation were correlated with individual differences in theory of mind, prosocial behavior, and temperament. These findings were discussed in terms of their implications for understanding the mechanisms of social learning, ontogeny of cumulative culture, and the benefit of analyzing individual differences for developmental experiments.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Developmental Science. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12862.
URI: 
ISSN: 
1363-755X (print)
1467-7687 (online)
DOI: 
Grant ID: 
NSF DLS #1023179
File Permission: 
Open
File Availability: 
With file
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