Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toddlers' Imitation Predicts Well-Developed Conscience

Date:
October 28, 2004
Source:
American Psychological Society
Summary:
A recent study tested whether naturally-occurring differences in how 1-year-olds imitate their mothers can predict which children will show a well-developed conscience as preschoolers.

Maybe the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do" got it wrong. A more accurate version would be, "Do as I do, and you will come to do as I say."

A recent study tested whether naturally-occurring differences in how 1-year-olds imitate their mothers can predict which children will show a well-developed conscience as preschoolers. The study, led by David Forman, Concordia University in Montreal, found evidence that babies who enthusiastically imitate their parents develop a sense of right and wrong earlier than those who don't. The report appears in the October issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society.

Imitation was measured when children were 14 and 22 months old. Mothers demonstrated simple actions and asked their children to copy them, and researchers noted how much, and how eagerly, each child imitated his or her mother. Children were tested again at 33 and 45 months old, this time for conscience development. Enticed with gift-wrapped prizes, children played games designed to be impossible to win by following the rules and were watched to see whether they cheated. In another test designed to measure guilt, an apparently valuable object fell apart as soon as each child handled it.

The results were dramatic. Children who eagerly imitated their mothers were more likely to follow the rules and more likely to show guilt when they broke something than were children who didn't, up to two-and-a-half years later. The authors suggest that eager imitation reflects a relationship in which both mothers and children are highly responsive to each other, and that this kind of relationship can give conscience development a boost.

###

Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. The American Psychological Society represents psychologists advocating science-based research in the public's interest.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Society. "Toddlers' Imitation Predicts Well-Developed Conscience." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041027113855.htm>.
American Psychological Society. (2004, October 28). Toddlers' Imitation Predicts Well-Developed Conscience. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041027113855.htm
American Psychological Society. "Toddlers' Imitation Predicts Well-Developed Conscience." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041027113855.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins