Babies Know When You Imitate Them — And Like It
[Source: Science Daily]
Six-month old infants recognize when adults imitate them, and perceive imitators as more friendly, according to a new study. The babies looked and smiled longer at an adult who imitated them, as opposed to when the adult responded in other ways. Babies also approached them more, and engaged in imitating games.
In the study, a researcher met 6-month old babies in their homes and played with them in four different ways. The researcher either: imitated everything the babies did as a mirror, or as a reverse mirror, imitated only the bodily actions of the babies while keeping an immobile face, or responded with a different action when the babies acted. The latter is called contingent responding and is how most parents would respond to their baby — when the baby does or needs something, you react accordingly.
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