Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Rationality, philosophy: rationality is the ability of a being to consciously adapt to a situation due to the generalizations of his experiences. It can also be rational to want to learn something new. See also system, order, creativity, discoveries, evaluation, repetition.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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Developmental Psychology on Rationality - Dictionary of Arguments

Slater I 82
Rationality/developmental psychology/Slater: in an experiment (Meltzoff 1995b)(1) Meltzoff showed 18-month-old infants an action in which an adult failed to pull the ends off a barbell. The infants were then given the object and they successfully pulled the ends off the barbell.
Meltzoff’s findings motivated other researchers, this time under the heading of rational imitation. Gergely, Bekkering and Király (2002)(2) found that infants who had not had their hands free to solve a problem in earlier attempts, used their hands in later passes if they had the opportunity.
The rationale is that in the “hands-occupied” condition the infants reasoned that if her hands had been free she would have used them instead of her forehead [which had been her “instrument” in the former attempts] but in the “hands-free” condition she must have had a reason for using her forehead rather than her hands, hence the term “rational imitation”.
Animals: Buttelmann, Carpenter, Call & Tomasello (2007)(2) found that even chimpanzees can imitate rationally.

1. Meltzoff, A. N. (1995b) Understanding the intentions of others - re-enactment of intended acts by 18-month-old infants. Developmental Science, 31, 838-850.
2. Gergely, G., Bekkering, H. & Király, I. (2002) Rational imitation in preverbal infants. Nature, 415, 755.

Alan M. Slater, “Imitation in Infancy. Revisiting Meltzoff and Moore’s (1977) Study”, in: Alan M. Slater and Paul C. Quinn (eds.) 2012. Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies. London: Sage Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Developmental Psychology
Slater I
Alan M. Slater
Paul C. Quinn
Developmental Psychology. Revisiting the Classic Studies London 2012

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