Imitation, Technology, and the Western World

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Undergraduate student
Date created: 

The aim of this study is to determine the function of imitation through a comparative study of several perspectives: philosophy, social science, and neurophysiology. A significant aspect of the communication field, imitation is the study of mimicking, specifically in the development of languages, human behaviors, and human interactions. This mimicking nature of humans also relates to work being done on nurturing technology, such as in twenty-first century robotics research and development.

In this comparative study on imitation, I explore imitation in its contemporary manifestation: neurophysiology. By drawing on the work of neurologists Rizollatti and Sinigaglia, who explore the function of mirror neurons in humans in their text Mirrors in the Brain. I also compare the definitions of imitation through such authors as Plato, Aristotle, and Tatarkiewicz. Prior to defining imitation, however, I outline of my methodology. Following this outline, I look at the importance of imitation in social communication, the development of social life, and its influence on technology. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Copyright remains with the author.
Onufrijchuk, Roman
Laba, Martin
School of Communication