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  1. Apr 2022
    1. Humans’ tendency to“overimitate”—to reproduce even the gratuitous elements of another’s behavior—may operate on a copy now, understand later basis. After all, there might begood reasons for such steps that the novice does not yet grasp, especially sinceso many human tools and practices are “cognitively opaque”: not self-explanatory on their face. Even if there doesn’t turn out to be a functionalrationale for the actions taken, imitating the customs of one’s culture is a smartmove for a highly social species like our own.

      Research has shown that humans are "high-fidelity" imitators to the point of overimitation. It's possible that as an evolved and highly social species that imitation signals acceptance and participation by members of the society such that even "cognitively opaque" practices will be blindly followed.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/lROFtsDkEey_yHtNNJ_NfQ