Infant imitation work is wrong

babyA recent study by Janine Oostenbroek et al. (2016) suggests the results by Meltzoff and Moore, and others, are wrong. This new study is considerably more comprehensive. 64 infants were tested 4 times between the age of one week and 9 weeks, and tested on 11 different displays. There was no evidence of consistent imitation. For example, a baby was no more likely to stick their tongue out when the researcher did so than when the researcher pulled a happy or sad face. Across all conditions the researchers found that there was no situation where a baby consistently performed the same facial display as the researcher.

Oosentenbroek et al. conclude that Piaget may have been right in proposing that imitation first appears at 10 months.

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