Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 422-429

First online:

Imitation in shadowing words

  • Kevin ShockleyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of CincinnatiHaskins LaboratoriesUniversity of Connecticut
  • , Laura SabadiniAffiliated withHaskins LaboratoriesUniversity of Connecticut
  • , Carol A. FowlerAffiliated withHaskins LaboratoriesUniversity of Connecticut


Imitation of shadowed words was evaluated using Goldinger’s (1998) AXB paradigm. The first experiment was a replication of Goldinger’s experiments with different tokens. Experiment 1’s AXB tests showed that shadowed words were judged to be better imitations of target words than were baseline (read) counterparts more often than chance (.50). Order of presentation of baseline and shadowed words in the AXB test also significantly influenced judgments. Degree of prior exposure to token words did not significantly influence judgments of imitation. Experiment 2 employed modified target tokens with extended voice onset times (VOTs). In addition to AXB tests, VOTs of response tokens were compared across baseline and shadowing conditions. The AXB tests revealed shadowed words to be better imitations of target tokens than baseline, without an influence of AXB presentation order. Differences between baseline and shadowing VOTs were greater when VOTs were extended. The implications of spontaneous imitation in nonsocial settings are considered.