Variation in pedagogy affects overimitation in children and adolescents
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Children are strong imitators, which sometimes leads to overimitation of causally unnecessary actions. Here, we tested whether learning from a peer decreases this tendency. First, sixty-five 7-10-year-old children performed the Hook task (i.e., retrieve a reward from a jar with tools) with child or adult demonstrators. The overimitation rate was lower after watching a peer than an adult. Second, we tested whether experiencing peer-to-peer learning versus adult-driven learning (i.e., Montessori versus traditional pedagogy) impacted overimitation. Sixty-six 4-18-year-old children performed the Hook task with adult demonstrators only. Montessori-schooled children had a lower propensity to overimitate. These findings emphasize the importance of the teaching model across the school years. While peer models favor selective imitation, adult models encourage overimitation.
Décaillet , M , Frick , A , Lince , X , Gruber , T & Denervaud , S 2024 , ' Variation in pedagogy affects overimitation in children and adolescents ' , Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , vol. 241 , 105862 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2024.105862
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
DescriptionS.D. was supported by The Société Académique Vaudoise and The Prepared Adult Initiative. A.F. was supported by a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship (grant number ECF-2023-573). TG was supported by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (PCEFP1_186832).
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