Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Baby see, baby do? Yes, unless you trick them

Date:
December 7, 2011
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
Babies love to imitate. Ask any parent and they'll report how infants mimic sounds, facial expressions and actions they observe. Now new research shows that infants can even differentiate between credible and non-credible sources. Simply put, most babies won't follow along if they have been previously tricked by an adult.

Babies love to imitate. Ask any parent and they'll report how infants mimic sounds, facial expressions and actions they observe. Now new research shows that most babies won't follow along if they have been previously tricked by an adult.
Credit: © sonya etchison / Fotolia

Babies love to imitate. Ask any parent and they'll report how infants mimic sounds, facial expressions and actions they observe. Now new research from Concordia University, published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development, has found that infants can even differentiate between credible and non-credible sources. Simply put, most babies won't follow along if they have been previously tricked by an adult.

Related Articles


"Like older children, infants keep track of an individual's history of being accurate or inaccurate and use this information to guide their subsequent learning," says senior researcher Diane Poulin-Dubois, a professor in the Concordia Department of Psychology and member of the Centre for Research in Human Development. "Specifically, infants choose not to learn from someone who they perceive as unreliable."

A group of 60 infants, aged 13 to 16 months, were tested as part of this study. Babies were divided in two groups; with reliable or unreliable testers. In a first task, experimenters looked inside a container, while expressing excitement, and infants were invited to discover whether the box actually contained a toy or was empty. This task was designed to show the experimenter's credibility or lack thereof.

In a second imitation task, the same experimenter used her forehead instead of her hands to turn on a push-on light. The experimenter then observed whether infants would follow suit. The outcome? Only 34 per cent of infants whose testers were unreliable followed this odd task. By contrast, 61 per cent of infants in the reliable group imitated the irrational behavior.

"This shows infants will imitate behaviour from a reliable adult," says second author Ivy Brooker, a PhD student in the Concordia Department of Psychology and member of the Centre for Research in Human Development. "In contrast, the same behaviour performed by an unreliable adult is interpreted as irrational or inefficient, therefore not worth imitating."

These results add to a growing body of research from the same laboratory that suggests that even infants are adept at detecting who's reliable and who is not.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Diane Poulin-Dubois, Ivy Brooker, Alexandra Polonia. Infants prefer to imitate a reliable person. Infant Behavior and Development, 2011; 34 (2): 303 DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.01.006

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Baby see, baby do? Yes, unless you trick them." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111206131944.htm>.
Concordia University. (2011, December 7). Baby see, baby do? Yes, unless you trick them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111206131944.htm
Concordia University. "Baby see, baby do? Yes, unless you trick them." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111206131944.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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