Impact of Imitation Behavior: Definition and Examples – Imitation is the behavior of imitating others, which of course can have an effect. Curious about what are the effects of imitation behavior? Come on, let's see this article to the end.

Many factors can occur as a catalyst for social interaction. One of them is imitation, i.e. imitating the behavior of another person or group.

More specifically, imitation behavior refers to actions taken by a person who learns a new behavior about a behavior from seeing other items and then tries to imitate that behavior.

Definition of Imitation

In other words, imitation does not happen by itself. Before imitating or imitating another person, one must first accept, admire, and respect the subject of the imitation or imitation.

In this imitation behavior, everything can be imitated, including behavior, way of life, appearance, social customs, beliefs, and knowledge.

A person gains knowledge about society's values and standards by imitating, or conversely, he gains knowledge about behavior that is contrary to accepted norms and values.

Everything is based on the ideals prevalent around him. Someone will naturally imitate the things that are good and useful for his life if he is brought up with very good values and norms.

On the other hand, someone who doesn't have strong morals and guidelines will imitate unwanted behavior.

Definition of Imitation

Imitation, also known as imitation, is a cognitive process that involves using the senses as recipients of input and plugging in the perceptual capacity to process information from those stimuli with the capacity to act to perform motor movements.

Since this procedure involves language and interpreting other people's thoughts, it requires a high level of cognitive ability.

Imitation is now being investigated from a variety of scientific perspectives, including anthropology, economics, sociology, philosophy, psychology, neurology, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.

In addition to the human ability to interact socially to the cultural decline of the next generation, this is related to the role of imitation in learning, especially in young infants.

Stating that all social life is internalized in children based on imitation is not an exaggeration because this imitation is related to social life in real life.

Imitation, then, generally talks about a person's social process or activity to imitate the attitude, lifestyle, or even that of another person.

Imitation, on the other hand, does not come naturally; it calls for acceptance and respect of the thing copied.

Someone takes the value and social norms through imitation, or vice versa, he takes actions contrary to accepted norms and values. This observation and imitation teaches children and adults alike a lot.

People copy the behavior they see in those around them as a result of their observations, and therefore the behavior develops.

This is in accordance with Bandura's statement (2006) that observable responses must be related to human behavior.

The result of monitoring people in their environment is this behavior. Children are adept imitators, and they are constantly paying attention to the behavior displayed in their environment, especially the family.

Based on some of the definitions of imitation mentioned above, it can be determined that imitation is a behavior formed by someone by imitating or seeing how other people behave in terms of appearance, attitude, behavior, and way of life.

In this regard, direct observation reveals that children exhibit imitative behavior more often, especially in the family environment.

1. Study of the Psychology of Imitation

Imitation Psychology Study

It is important to distinguish between imitation and mimicry and emulation, but in the process of imitation, people implement ideas imitating an action with an understanding of its goals and are motivated by goal attainment.

Albert Bandura's social learning theory and imitation are often associated. Children are thought to develop theory of mind through imitation of other people's behavior and perception of environmental input in addition to imitation.

2. Neuroscience Studies

Neurological evidence that imitation is important comes from Giacomo Rizzolati of the University of Parma in Italy, who discovered a mirror neuron system in ape monkeys in 1996.

Animals and humans have mirror nervous systems, which cause their nerves to fire when they perform an activity or see another animal or person performing the same action.

The precortex of the brain houses the mirror nervous system (SSC). This SSC makes it easy to copy the actions of others by helping to understand their actions.

Factors in Doing Imitation

Although imitation is not a natural process, it can be influenced by a mindset of acceptance of what is seen. Several factors, among others, as follows:

1. Psychological Factors

There are various psychological factors that influence imitating and imitating behavior, one of which is the cognitive component.

Humans think about things and interpret their experiences in this way.

This component also explains how looking at or looking at the model it sees directly or indirectly can result in the creation of new and complex behaviors.

Mussen and Conger (1984) assert that imitation may arise from the desire to imitate others or from the desire to achieve certain goals.

During the first three years of life, attitudes are partly imitated based on the child's cognitive development, which defines which actions the child perceives as difficult but not impossible.

Incentives to imitate others, the degree to which one's emotions are influenced by others, and the desire to achieve goals all determine who and what young people will imitate.

2. Family Environment

Since the person was a child, imitation has existed and originates from the home environment. The family environment, followed by the school environment and the community environment, has the greatest influence on children.

The smallest habitat is the family, which is created by parents and other family members.

Instilling values and rules from parents to children through socialization is a process that contributes to the development of a child's nature or character.

Educate young people about these principles, such as the factors behind their religious behavior. Children at first observe the activities of their parents.

When a child likes something, they will imitate it without understanding why they did it, which gives them an incentive to imitate.

Children who are good at imitating naturally experience this because they already have interests and goals but are unable to clearly articulate them.

The movements and behavior of children is the only way to observe their interests and desires.

3. Mass Media

Impact of Mass Media Imitation Behavior

Imitation will continue to spread to the larger setting, namely society. Along with the development of mass media, including television programs, imitation in society is getting faster.

Because it is seen continuously and repeatedly, the mass media can be added as a very influential force in the era of communication.

Impressions are messages or sets of messages that can be received via the recipient's device and are ready to be displayed.

The messages can be in the form of music, pictures or characters and can be interactive.

4. Social Interaction with Peers

Child imitation is greatly influenced by social interaction and peer pressure in addition to the media. Peer involvement is very important for the interaction process, especially in terms of modeling religious behavior.

According to Nurhayati (2007), peer interaction has a significant role in a child's religion due to the following two factors:

  1. Children will learn through peer interaction if the environment will accept or reject their behavior, which has been made based on the standards of religious beliefs in the family
  2. The child will be motivated by peer interaction to act only in a way appropriate to the environment.

Imitation Impact

According to the book Sociology of Social Sciences Volume 1 of the 2007 Partner Teacher Team, imitative behavior has both positive and detrimental impacts. Here are the impacts:

1. Impact of Positive Imitation Behavior

Imitation can motivate people to follow and comply with relevant standards or laws to build a harmonious, peaceful, stable and orderly social environment.

For example, imitating the appearance of famous singers, leading a healthy lifestyle, and so on.

2. Impact of Negative Imitation Behavior

If imitation can induce a person to go against accepted standards or rules, then it has a negative impact.

In this situation, imitation can hinder the growth of one's creative abilities.

For example, someone imitates the lifestyle of their favorite rock musician by doping, wearing earrings, and so on.

Imitation Stages

Imitation Stages

Imitation is also known as process modeling because it involves imitating the behavior of a model. This applies to any behavior that has a behavior to emulate.

This procedure is only used for certain people, such as famous people, people in power, successful people, or people you meet frequently.

Imitation is often associated with Bandura's social learning theory because social learning is also known as observational learning or learning from models.

Namely the learning process resulting from observation, mastery of the learning process of imitation, and imitating the behavior of others.

The process of imitation involves learning to imitate or model the behavior of another person through observing that individual.

According to social learning theory, people learn through observation rather than training. As previously mentioned, interest in, concern for, or admiration for others often results in imitative behavior.

These factors then develop into imitation, which is carried out in the steps listed below, according to Yolanda Bilqis Sherly's article published in the journal The Relationship Between Celebrity Worship and Imitation Behavior in Adolescents (2019):

1. Attention

Giving attention or attention is the main stage or factor. That is, one is urged to focus on a model or imitation item first to complete the imitation act.

From there, it can act in a behavior similar to the copied object.

If a model is given either directly or indirectly and there are accurately the characteristics associated with the model's actions, people can learn through observation.

By watching, listening to, and paying attention to others, one can elicit new reactions, making mindfulness in these situations especially important.

But not every model shown will attract people's attention, as is well known. As a result, it is very important to focus and pay more attention to watching and learning from models.

The techniques used vary depending on the person; for example, children focus attention differently than adults.

However, in general, rewards and emphasis can be used to increase attention by focusing on a model's qualities, i.e. a model's particular attractiveness.

2. Retention

After observing the model's activity, the subject carried out the retention process by remembering the model seen in his mind.

However, not all model data will actually be stored by it. Information that interests the subject and holds their attention is usually stored.

3. Formation of Behavior

Information that has been learned and memorized by the model imitating subject will then be communicated through action or behavior.

4. Motivation

The final stage is when you have support, which can act as reinforcement.

To encourage and maintain behavior that will actually manifest in everyday life, reinforcement can be used as a motivator.

Imitation Examples

Imitation Examples

Here are some examples of good and bad imitations that occur frequently in everyday life to help you better understand what imitation is:

1. Examples of Positive Imitation

Here are examples of positive imitation:

  1. Mimicking idol fashion sense
  2. Mimics vocal techniques of other singers
  3. Imitate other students' learning techniques to improve the final grade
  4. Copy the strategy used by famous basketball clubs
  5. A woman will imitate other mothers who educate their children well
  6. A student imitates the behavior of his teacher, who manages his time with discipline.

2. Examples of Negative Imitation

Here is an example of a negative imitation:

  1. Imitate young men and women who are involved in drinking and promiscuity
  2. Copyright piracy, plagiarism, or any kind of copying someone else's work
  3. Mimicking the behavior of someone who drives too fast to disturb other motorists
  4. Imitate smoking
  5. Imitating clothing styles that deviate from applicable standards or guidelines
  6. Using mobile devices in class and studying.


Here we have summarized some frequently asked questions:

What is Imitation in Social Interaction?

Imitation is an act of imitating another person, both in behavior, physical appearance, and attitude.

What is the Difference between Imitation and Identification?

Imitation is an act of imitating others, in appearance, attitude, behavior of others to excess.

Meanwhile, identification is an attitude that tends to 'be the same' as other people.


That's a little information about the meaning, factors and impact of imitation behavior, which is an attitude of imitating the behavior of others.

And we can conclude, if imitation is a social process of someone who imitates or follows the behavior of others.