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mitation and Its Social Effects: How Does the Adult Mimicker Influence Children's Helping Behavior

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2008, 21(2), pp.77-97
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

박진희 1 방희정 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have shown that imitation not only increases liking and rapport between the interactants, but also enhances demonstrator's pro-social helping behavior toward the mimicker and other people in general. This study has been done to test social and emotional effects of imitation on the child participants. To adapt previous studies which were originally for adults, children of ages from 9 to 11 were chosen to participate in this study. The results of this study are as follows. First, repeated testing using the modified IOS scale before and after the trial showed the scores of the children in the no-mimicry condition increased more after the trials compared to those of the children in the mimicry condition. Second, the children in the mimicry condition retrieved the pen dropped by the experimenter more than the children in the no-mimicry condition. Third, the children in the no-mimicry condition donated more to the needy than the children in the mimicry condition did. The results above show that age plays a role in the effect mimicry has on people. Although mimicry has an effect of triggering feelings of liking and establishing of a rapport with another person in adults leading to increased likelihood of charity towards the mimicker, in children, who are still in development phase of conventional morality, the high/low authority experimenter variable which is affected by imitation may play a role in the outcome.

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