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Faced with ostracism threat, kids use imitation to fit in

Faced with ostracism threat, kids use imitation to fit in
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In the face of a threat of being excluded from a group of their liking, children try to copy group behaviour as a means of re-affiliating, a study says.

New York: In the face of a threat of being excluded from a group of their liking, children try to copy group behaviour as a means of re-affiliating, a study says.

"Humans have an evolutionary prepared ostracism-detection system," said lead author of the study Rachel Watson-Jones from The University of Texas at Austin.

According to the study, children as young as five are sensitive to being excluded, especially from "in-groups" -- those to which they feel they belong and will respond using high-fidelity imitation to re-affiliate with those groups.

"When kids feel left out, they copy the behaviour of others around them in order to appear more like them," said Watson-Jones.
"Whether it is the way they dress, play, eat or activities they participate in, a child will imitate the behaviour of others to appear as though they are part of that group," Watson-Jones said.
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