What is Deferred Imitation? - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Gaines Arnold
How do infants and toddlers learn? This lesson discusses deferred imitation which psychologist Jean Piaget defined with regard to how children learn. The lesson also provides examples of the process.

The Light Switch

Every day eighteen-month-old Georgie was taken to a sitter prior to her parents going to work. She wanted to walk out the door like an adult, she could use her legs, but they were in a hurry. They didn't have time to hold her hands as she toddled to the car. Georgie saw that every day, when they left the house, either mom or dad, would push down a little stick on the wall and the house would get dark.

The same operation was performed each day of the week (except for certain days when they all stayed home and played) with her parents making the house go dark each time. Georgie stopped watching after a while because she knew what was going to happen. Then one day, after Georgie had turned two, her parents said it was time to go. To their amazement, Georgie toddled over to the wall, climbed up on a bench and turned off the light. Her act of deferred imitation may have seemed remarkable, but Georgie's parents shouldn't have been surprised.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account