Kids Copy Parents' Mistakes

Parents, be on guard, because your kids are watching very, very closely. A new Yale University study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that kids learn how to perform certain actions or tasks through a very dedicated form of imitation. They tend to copy all the motions or steps an adult uses to perform a given manipulation task, rather than just the important ones. The three-to-five-year-old kids in the study could tell which actions were unnecessary, such as tapping a box with a feather before opening it. Yet they still copied superfluous actions when mimicking adults in other tests.—Gregory Mone

(Image credit: Yale Department of Psychology)