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Journal Article

Selective imitation of in-group over out-group members in 14-month-old infants


Daum,  Moritz M.
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Buttelmann, D., Zmyj, N., Daum, M. M., & Carpenter, M. (2013). Selective imitation of in-group over out-group members in 14-month-old infants. Child Development, 84(2), 422-428. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01860.x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-16B4-D
Recent research has shown that infants are more likely to engage with in-group over out-group members. However, it is not known whether infants' learning is influenced by a model's group membership. We investigated whether 14-month-olds imitate selectively and adopt preferences differentially from in-group versus out-group members. Infants watched an adult who told a story either in their native language (in-group) or a foreign language (out-group). The adult then demonstrated a novel action (imitation task) and chose one of two objects (preference task). Infants did not show selectivity in the preference task but they imitated the in-group model more faithfully than the out-group model. This suggests that cultural learning is beginning to be truly cultural by 14 months of age.