Babies are famous for copying adults, but a new study shows that little ones carefully choose whether to imitate an adult’s actions based on how credible they think the adult is.
For example, if an adult has previously displayed unreliable or dishonest behavior, the baby is less likely to mimic them, according to the study.
Researchers divided 60 babies between 13 months and 16 months into two groups. In the first group, “unreliable” experimenters looked inside a container while expressing excitement, and invited the babies to discover whether the box contained a toy or was empty. For that group’s experiment, the box was empty. The second group had “reliable” experimenters, so when the babies copied the adults’ enthusiastic behavior and looked inside the box, they found a toy.
Read the whole story: LiveScience