Do infants selectively imitate a transitive and an intransitive agent?
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Previous research showed that in imitative learning, infants seemed to care about the reliability of the model marked by group membership or conventionality of behaviors. Current study made use of 16-month-old infants' understanding of transitivity of choices among objects (i.e., if an agent chooses A>B, B>C, then A>C) and further explored whether the transitivity of an agents' choices can also be used as an indicator of reliability to influence infant's imitative learning of a novel action from the agent. The results showed that remarkably more infants imitated the agent who made transitive choices, whereas significantly less infants imitated the agent who made intransitive choices. Taken together with previous research, these results suggested that reliability marked by an agent's transitivity of choices indeed made a difference in 16-month-old infants' imitative learning from her.
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