The concept of imitation can be defined as a simple copy of behavior , but behind this simple copy there is a great variety of brain mechanisms working and processing information for the sensory-motor process of imitation to occur.
For some scientists, imitation is an act of survival that the individual performs to adapt to the environment , and for others it is just an act of survival of the organism.
Most of our behaviors are imitated, acquired through complex mechanisms of the mind. These imitated behaviors are what allow us to adapt to our environment and become social beings, parts of a society.
What is lazy imitation?
In cognitive development from the Piagetian theory of knowledge, deferred or delayed imitation is one of the functions that develops in the pre-operative period (from 18 months to 6 years) and that gives rise to the symbolic function .
Delayed imitation is the belated repetition of a behavior at a later time than it actually occurred.
The main feature is that the child evokes an event and represents it , simulating, for example, a game with a friend. What predominates is accommodation as the child imitates an action . You have to adapt and accommodate structures to be able to imitate.
Piaget was the one who found through his research on cognitive development, that this ability appears in children between 18 and 24 months. Babies and very young children are unable to keep memories of behavior in their memory and recall them later, as these are dominated by spontaneous imitation.
Spontaneous imitation in babies works through mirror neurons; the baby observes a gesture and responds to it with a set of muscular movements that correspond to the visual stimulus received.
Once babies develop delayed imitation skills, they no longer imitate an external model, but an internal representation.
How does deferred imitation work?
Delayed imitation is a fundamental function for the transmission of behaviors and the transfer and development of traditions, since it allows the subject to reproduce the actions seen and remembered , at a time and place different from the one they previously witnessed.
With delayed imitation, the subject instead of copying what is happening in the moment, repeats the behavior some time after he saw it for the first time.
As the child grows and his cognitive development progresses, the longer the time that the information from the delayed imitation will be stored in his memory .
Mechanisms involved in deferred imitation
Some of the mechanisms involved in deferred or delayed imitation are:
This is a mechanism that is directly connected to the needs of each individual. The motivation mechanism begins with the need, which activates an impulse towards a goal or achievement to be satisfied.
The perspective or perception mechanism is the mechanism by which the individual recognizes and interprets sensory stimuli. These stimuli are what help us to interact socially and interpret the outside world.
Mechanisms of care
The attention mechanism allows us to voluntarily observe and achieve a state of concentration of consciousness on a fact or phenomenon. When we enter a state of concentration, we exclude other stimuli that go into the background, which is called blindness to change and attention.
The adaptation mechanism is the one that allows us to change, adapt to a situation. This mechanism refers to the ability of an individual to adapt to new experiences and accept and process new information.
The learning mechanism allows us to acquire knowledge and develop skills, through diverse and complex mental processes. Learning is usually the product of study, practice and experience.
Mechanism of abstraction
The mechanism of abstraction is the mental process that allows us to remove characteristics of a phenomenon to reduce it to a set of essential characteristics. Abstraction gives us the ability to do things without actually executing them, just imagining them. For example: organize a schedule about the activities that we will do tomorrow; In this case we will not be doing the activities at the same time, but they will be saved in our mind.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.