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Journal Article

Imitation during Play as a Means of Social Influence

Mark H. Thelen, David J. Miller, Peter A. Fehrenbach, Nanette M. Frautschi and M. Daniel Fishbein
Child Development
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Sep., 1980), pp. 918-920
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129487
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129487
Page Count: 3
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Imitation during Play as a Means of Social Influence
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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess the possibility that children may use imitation as a means of social influence. The subjects were 57 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade boys and girls who were matched with a child of the same sex, but 1 grade lower than themselves. The younger child was coached to serve as the model. Social influence subjects were given an induction designed to motivate them to influence the model; control subjects received no such induction. Following the induction, the social influence subjects imitated the model significantly more than the control subjects. Smiling was positively correlated with imitation for the social influence but not for the control subjects.

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