Imitation Theory and Research from a Cognitive Perspective
This review amends earlier reviews of imitation theory and research (e.g., Flanders, 1968) in which one important perspective is omitted. According to this view, which has its basis in the work of Piaget, imitation is one form of overall cognitive functioning, rather than a special mechanism for the acquisition of novel responses. Consideration of this point of view provides the basis for a reexamination of the empirical imitation literature. Emphasized are: (a) the interaction of the child’s cognitive structure and the structural characteristics of the model, and (b) the child’s interpretation of the modeling stimulus and the experimental imitation situation.