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Outerdirectedness and Imitative Behavior of Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Younger and Older Children

Edward Zigler and Regina Yando
Child Development
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 1972), pp. 413-425
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127545
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127545
Page Count: 13
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Outerdirectedness and Imitative Behavior of Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Younger and Older Children
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Abstract

4 groups of 48 children, institutionalized and noninstitutionalized younger and older children of normal intelligence, were administered a measure of outerdirectedness. The task, which was designed to elicit imitative behavior, allowed for the comparison of performance under conditions where (a) the task was presented as a problem or no problem, and (b) cues were provided by an adult or by a machine. Younger children were found to be more imitative than older children. More imitation was found in the machine-cue than in the adult-cue condition. Younger noninstitutionalized children were found to be more imitative than younger institutionalized children, but only if the task did not require the solution of a problem. The relationship of these findings to reinforcement and contiguity-mediational theories of imitation was discussed.

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