An Examination of the Influence of Mimicry on the Pro-Social Sharing of Preschoolers
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The effects of mimicry on pro-social sharing were investigated among 4-year-olds. During the priming phase, the experimenter either copied the actions of the children directly or responded contingently to their actions. The effect of mimicry on sharing behavior was assessed by the children’s performance on the resource allocation task. Results indicated that mimicry did not influence sharing above and beyond a positive interaction, with low levels of sharing found in both conditions. Experiment 2 was designed to determine whether the lack of communication during the priming phase of Experiment 1 was responsible for the levels of sharing found. During the priming phase, the experimenter either spoke to the children while they played, or did not. Results indicated that communication did not influence pro-social sharing, as the levels of sharing were no higher than those found in Experiment 1. Other influencing factors such as the nature of mimicry are discussed.