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imitation effect

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A study of the influence on non-adopters created through connection and interaction with early adopters of innovation, which has the effect of spreading the uptake and diffusion of the innovation through society. For example, in the early days of marketing televisions in America, the television manufacturers would seek out influential persons in a given neighbourhood, and provide them with a free television, on the basis that they would invite their neighbours around to watch popular television shows. The intention was to spread the word on innovation and to encourage others to imitate and purchase television sets. See also diffusion of innovation; word of mouth.

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