Model expertise does not influence automatic imitation [post]

Maura Nevejans, Emiel Cracco
2022 unpublished
Social learning theories state that new skills can be learned by observing others. Automatic imitation is thought to play an important role in this process. However, whether imitation is beneficial to learning critically depends on the expertise of the imitated person. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of model expertise on automatic imitation, by comparing automatic imitation of an expert and non-expert model in two within-subject experiments. In a first
more » ... nt (N = 61), we manipulated the perception of expertise in one task and tested how this influenced automatic imitation in a separate task. However, in contrast to our hypothesis, and in spite of a successful manipulation check, we did not find evidence for an effect of model expertise on imitative behavior. To exclude the alternative explanation that this was due to a lack of transfer of expertise attribution, we then conducted a second, preregistered experiment (N = 125), in which we manipulated model expertise using the same task also used to measure automatic imitation. However, in line with the results of Experiment 1, we found no evidence for an effect of model expertise on imitative behavior. These results put important constraints on the role of automatic imitation in motor learning.
doi:10.31234/ fatcat:r7a46vsazraelkt5ifazrvpbtq