Whom do children copy? Model-based biases in social learning

Lara A. Wood*, Rachel L. Kendal, Emma G. Flynn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


This review investigates the presence of young children's model-based cultural transmission biases in social learning, arguing that such biases are adaptive and flexible. Section 1 offers five propositions regarding the presence and direction of model-based transmission biases in young children's copying of a model. Section 2 discusses the cognitive abilities required for differing model-based biases and tracks their development in early childhood. Section 3 suggests future areas of research including considering the social aspect of model-based biases and understanding their use within a comparative perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2013


  • Cultural transmission
  • Model-based biases
  • Social cognition
  • Social learning
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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