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  When does it pay to follow the crowd? Children optimize imitation of causally irrelevant actions performed by a majority

Evans, C. L., Burdett, E. R., Murray, K., & Carpenter, M. (2021). When does it pay to follow the crowd? Children optimize imitation of causally irrelevant actions performed by a majority. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 212: 105229. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105229.

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Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Evans, Cara L.1, Author              
Burdett, Emily R.R., Author
Murray, Keelin, Author
Carpenter, Malinda, Author
Affiliations:
1Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074311              

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Free keywords: Over-imitation, Majority bias, Cultural evolution, Social learning, Social learning strategies, Social learning biases
 Abstract: Cultural evolutionary theory posits that human cultural complexity rests on a set of adaptive learning biases that help to guide functionality and optimality in social learning, but this sits in contrast with the commonly held view that children are unselective “over-imitators.” Here, we tested whether 4- and 6-year-old children use social learning biases flexibly to fine-tune their copying of irrelevant actions. Children watched a video of a majority demonstrating causally irrelevant actions and a minority demonstrating only causally relevant actions. In one condition observers approved of the majority and disapproved of the minority, and in the other condition observers watched the majority and minority neutrally. Results showed that both 4- and 6-year-olds copied the inefficient majority more often than the efficient minority when the observers had approved of the majority’s actions, but they copied the efficient minority significantly more when the observers had watched neutrally. We discuss the implications of children’s optimal selectivity in copying and the importance of integrating social approval into majority-biased learning when acquiring norms and conventions and in broader processes of cultural evolution.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-07-172021-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction
Method
- Participants
- Materials and design
- Procedure
- Coding and analysis
Results
Discussion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2021.105229
Other: shh3007
 Degree: -

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Title: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
  Other : J Exp Child Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 212 Sequence Number: 105229 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0022-0965
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922645034