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

88 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
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


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


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