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Games 2018, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9010011

Imitation of Peers in Children and Adults

1
ICREA, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
2
WZB Berlin Social Science Center, 10785 Berlin, Germany
3
Department of Economics, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4
Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
5
Department of Economics, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Choice and Decision Making)
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Abstract

Imitation of the successful choices of others is a simple and superficially attractive learning rule. It has been shown to be an important driving force for the strategic behavior of (young) adults. In this study we examine whether imitation is prevalent in the behavior of children aged between 8 and 10. Surprisingly, we find that imitation seems to be cognitively demanding. Most children in this age group ignore information about others, foregoing substantial learning opportunities. While this seems to contradict much of the literature in the field of psychology, we argue that success-based imitation of peers may be harder for children to perform than non-success-based imitation of adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; imitation learning; success-based imitation; peer imitation children; imitation learning; success-based imitation; peer imitation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Apesteguia, J.; Huck, S.; Oechssler, J.; Weidenholzer, E.; Weidenholzer, S. Imitation of Peers in Children and Adults. Games 2018, 9, 11.

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