ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (10): 1833-1843.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01833

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Critical Review of Psychological Studies on Imitation

CHEN Wuying;LIU Lianqi   

  1. (1 School of Educational Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Jiangsu Xuzhou 221116, China) (2 School of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200235, China) (3 Publicity Department, Xuzhou Institute of Technology, Jiangsu Xuzhou 221008, China)
  • Received:2012-12-29 Online:2013-10-15 Published:2013-10-15
  • Contact: CHEN Wuying

Abstract: Imitation is reproduction, which refers to match in behaviors between the observers and models. While the concept of imitation has a long history, imitation research is still focus of developmental psychology, social psychology and cognitive psychology over the last decade. There are both connections and differences among imitation, emulation and mimicry. According to different criterion, imitation can be divided into various types which can be explained by corresponding hypotheses. Most researches declaim that mirror neuron system should be the neural mechanism of imitation, but this conclusion needs further examination. Many factors, such as social context, influence the imitation. Future studies should strive to probe into the intrinsic structure of imitation, the relations among multiple imitations and the relationship between imitation and other cognitive relationship on the basis of improving and expanding research paradigm.

Key words: imitation, automatic imitation, overimitation, emulation, mirror neuron system