Imitation - This is a process in which one individual tries to follow exactly in all the other person, group, model, while he independently copies actions that he perceives from others. Psychological imitation is of considerable importance in the assimilation by man of social experience, which is observed in many in different phases of individual development. In the preschool and early ages, by imitation, behavioral norms, self-service skills, and subject actions are adopted. In older age, it takes on a different meaning.

This phenomenon is a completely logical sociological phenomenon. For example, when a person is subjected to pressure with the help of social norms, the majority of participants in a social group behave in a certain way, doing specific actions, and it will be difficult for individuals to resist it. In this case, imitation is a type of group thinking. People want to feel and understand that they are right. These people behave this way to match others. They look at how others behave and take an example, copy the patterns of their behavior, considering it to be correct, because most behave like that.

In the phenomenon of imitation the fear of isolation matters. Everyone wants to be clear and enjoyable, to be accepted in society, because many do not want to be white crows, rejected from the group. It is the need for recognition that helps them to accept the values ​​and norms of the majority.

The effect of imitation is quite unstable manifestation, because people can easily adopt preferences and abandon them just as quickly. In the psychological and sociological aspect, this phenomenon is the conscious following of the behavior of others, the re-creation of perceived behavior.

The mechanism of imitation in psychology can be conscious and unconscious, absolute or partial, creative and literal, voluntary and compulsory.

Imitation as a mechanism of the psychology of the mass has such a feature that it manifests itself when the individual consciousness decreases. The need is in the masses, not only helps to reduce the level of rationality, it increases the emotionality. This emotional state contributes to the desire of a person to share it with others.

If favorable situations arise for this, the ability of imitation is actualized. Favorable factors can be the presence of a certain number of people who feel close states, ready to divide it. It turns out that it becomes the main mechanism of behavior, because from a potential ability it becomes a concrete ability. A person begins to display patterns of behavior perceived by him of people who are in a similar emotional state, observing the proposed patterns of emotional state regulation. It creates a mass of people that imitate each other. With such an interaction, the test conditions intensify, reaching a peak, then gradually decreasing.

The ability to imitate non-infinite, it is exhausted, discharging the emotional state, and the need to regulate this state is saturated, and then control over behavior begins to be restored.

Imitation in psychology

Despite the similarity that is observed in external signs, the mechanism of imitation in psychology has various psychological signs in different age categories. In childhood, the phenomenon is characterized by the fact that the child perceives the voice and movements of an adult, making an attempt to identify with him the first contact.

At the age of a preschooler, psychological imitation is already an insight into the semantic structure of an individual's activity. It develops, goes through certain stages, the leading age-related activity also changes - the plot game. The child first begins to imitate the open features of the activities of adults, gradually beginning to copy behaviors that reflect the meaning of the situation.

In adolescence, imitation is focused more on external identification with a significant individual or with a stereotype of personal behavioral characteristics. In adults, it is an element of learning in the activities of several types (professional, sports, personal and other).

Mental infection and imitation was understood by the psychologist Freud, as a consequence of the suggestion process.

There is a difference between the concepts of mental infection and imitation. Mental infection is a series of names of phenomena of the socio-psychological order of people's behavior, where the prerequisites are the mechanisms of imitation and suggestion (suggestion).

In mental infection, the dominance of the emotional component is its determining expression and implementation. Psychological imitation implies a connection with fashion, with collective phobias of various kinds. Infection has long been studied as a means of actively influencing the masses, in connection with such phenomena as mass psychoses, cult sects and the like. The phenomenon of infection was known even at the earliest stages of history, it manifested itself quite diverse: sports passion, collective states manifested during ceremonial dances, panic situations, meditation.

Infection is defined as the involuntary unconscious susceptibility of a person to different mental states. It manifests itself not as a conscious acceptance of any information or patterns of behavior, but as a transfer of a certain state, psychological mood. This mass emotional state acts as a mechanism for the mutual increase in the emotional influences of people who communicate with each other. Here the individual does not at all lend himself to deliberately organized pressure, he only unconsciously acquires a pattern of someone else’s behavior, submitting only to him.

Researchers bring the fact of the existence of an "infection reaction", which occurs quite often in open and spacious auditoriums, where the emotional state increases significantly, through repeated display of a chain reaction. The phenomenon of infection is often observed in a poorly organized group, the crowd, which is the "accelerator", which accelerates the emotional state. The exact psychological interpretation says that the infection is an unwitting unconscious susceptibility of the individual to various mental states. At the same time, it is not the informed acceptance and transfer of information material or behavior pattern that is committed, but the transfer of an affective emotional state (attitude).

For emotional contagion to arise, it is necessary to establish a commonality of assessments. So, an infection occurs when someone starts applauding in a crowd, and everyone starts to support him, that is, a massive infection occurs. Infection is an important element in socio-psychological phenomena. The importance of the phenomenon of infection is contained in the formation of "mental epidemics" that occur among the population. This includes passion for fashion, trends in medicine, literature, art, the excesses of fanatics. The content of these emotions sets the content of the psychological infection. This is of considerable importance in social collective life. Proper use of psychological infection is important in the profession of a teacher, educator and leader.

Imitation is the process of human reproduction of traits and stereotypes of the demonstrated behavior. It can also be attributed to the mechanism of mutual influence, with the inclusion of conditions of mass behavior, also takes into account its manifestation in groups.

Imitation as a mechanism of the psychology of the mass is accompanied by the following laws: internal patterns can cause imitation earlier than external patterns; the lower patterns imitate the higher.

The mechanisms of imitation are not one-sided, because there is always a reverse course - from the individual to the effects, and the intensity of the impact is dependent on the criticality of individuals who belong to the elemental group.

Imitation is of three types:

- when observing new reactions occur;

- observation of the punishment or reward of the model weakens or strengthens the restrained behavior;

- observation of the model contributes to the activation of behavioral stereotypes, which the observer had previously known.

Imitation differs from suggestion in that the achievement of a goal is ensured by the obvious expressiveness of the source of the flow of information, and there is also an increased attractiveness of information flowing from the source. We can assume that the effect of the image is the basis for the perception of information.

In a situation of suggestion, goal achievement is established through a direct emotional impact, where the word is the determining component.

Imitation is understood as one of the patterns of the "law of repetition" that occurs in nature. Animals in their world do this through heredity, people, in the human, through copying. Imitation is a step towards progress. Society periodically inventions arise, which begin to imitate the masses. Such discoveries subsequently fit into the structure of society and are assimilated through the copying process again.

Imitation by some researchers is seen as the “rule of example,” which means that various innovations in social life are assimilated, after which they begin to be repeated by many, contributing to the enrichment of their various activities and lives, subordinating nature to themselves. In interaction, one begins to imitate another, thereby determining the initial component of sociality. Therefore, this phenomenon is a driving, activating force in social progress, it is an irresistible aspiration of people to mutual social imitation.

Theory of imitation Tarda

In social psychology, the theory of imitation is presented as a phenomenon where it is analyzed in such forms as imitating the behavior of a particular individual or copying the norms that are observed in a group. Also distinguish its forms such as congruence (the implementation of coordinated actions of the group), copying (displaying the exact actions of others in behavior), reference (copying or congruence to people who are not present in contact). The mechanism of imitation in psychology was studied by the sociologist J. Tarde.

The theory of imitation of Tard is briefly based on three basic types of processes in society: the opposition, repetition, it is imitation and adaptation (adaptation). Accordingly, the basic social laws he singled out the laws of imitation, adaptation, opposition. But the most important among them, he singled out the law of repetition and gave him the most attention. He also said that imitation is some kind of hypnotic phenomenon. His theory is extended to the field of group and interpersonal interactions. In social terms, imitation is considered a characteristic type, where the lower strata imitate the higher.

The process of imitation Tarde understood as the basic explanatory principle of life, both personal and collective. He considered it a worldwide, permanent social phenomenon, which contributes to the growth of the state, its economic development, religion, language, and other phenomena.

Social cognition is the cognition of the process of imitation. Its appearance is facilitated by internal and external causes, otherwise they are called logical, non-logical. In external causes, he paid special attention to social causes, which included economic, religious, political, linguistic and aesthetic influences.

The theory of Tarde rests on the fact that the fundamental acts of personal and social life manifest as a consequence of imitation. This means that social interactions have in their basis such an attitude as “teacher-student”.

The theory of imitation of Tarda influenced his followers, who asserted that in society there are three main types: mutual imitation, traditions (customs) and ideal. His theory analyzes this phenomenon in connection with the mutual actions of people.

The theory of Tarda is beyond the scope of the person and strives to consider interpersonal interaction. Tarde considers society to be the product of the interaction of personal consciousnesses through the transfer of information by people, their assimilation of convictions, beliefs, intentions, desires.

Fashion - a form of imitation

Imitation as the mechanism of the psychology of the mass acquires such a form as fashion For fashion to become a mass imitation mechanism, it is necessary that certain conditions be fulfilled. The most important condition is the prestige of the new trend. Often the decisive factor, which also acts as a regulator of people's behavior, is the desire to join the prestigious community.

Prestige is a rather difficult mechanism, and not the only one. Prestige gives people belonging to the reference group, which includes others. It means that mass fashion is based on the understanding by individuals that they imitate those who are ranked among their own reference group. The rule of imitation from the lowest to the highest also remains here, which means that if the elite puts on certain things and at least no matter how original they are, someone from the downstream can also afford to wear it.

The second factor or condition is the utility of what is an object of imitation, what is an object of mass fashion. So, things may not be prestigious, but practical and convenient, which allows them to gain worldwide popularity. For example, jeans. We can not say about the aesthetic basis, which is important in many communities. And even it is not about the fashion of the elite, but about what is really practical and beautiful for everyday life.

Perhaps the most important factor is advertising. Companies use targeted actions that contribute to mass infection and imitation. Here the factor of prestige or practicality is not so important.

The psychology of the masses defines fashion as a particular phenomenon that is formed on the basis of the category of "fashion" and "not fashion" on the action of the mechanisms of infection and imitation. This phenomenon can manifest itself as a mechanism of standardized mass behavior, or in completely different and new forms, not only natural ones.

Fashion, as a form of imitation performs the following functions: communicative (provides communication of individuals), compensatory (as a psychological defense mechanism) and interactive (interaction and coordination).