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Title:
The perpetuation of ritualistic actions as revealed by young children's transmission of normative behavior
Authors:
Nielsen, M., Kapitány, R., & Elkins, R.
Journal:
Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 191-198.

Abstract

Children will comprehensively copy others' actions despite manifest perceptual cues to their causal ineffectiveness. In experiment 1 we demonstrate that children will overimitate in this way even when the arbitrary actions copied are used as part of a process to achieve an outcome for someone else. We subsequently show in experiment 2 that children will omit arbitrary actions, but only if the actions are to achieve a clear, functional goal for a naïve adult. These findings highlight how readily children adopt what appear to be conventional behaviors, even when faced with a clear demonstration of their negligible functional value. We show how a child's strong, early-emerging propensity for overimitation reveals a sensitivity for ritualistic behavior. 

Accessed: 1041 times
Created: Thursday, 23rd April 2015 by uqpjack1
Modified: Thursday, 23rd April 2015 by uqpjack1
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