cryptomnesia

While unconscious plagiarism is embarrassing in cases where original creative output is expected, in most aspects of daily life it ranges from useful to indispensible. What is called cryptomnesia in one context is known as social learning theory in another. For example, children learn how to behave by unconsciously copying others, and friends strengthen their relationships when they assimilate each other's phrases, behaviors, and opinions.

- You Didn’t Plagiarize, Your Unconscious Did: Is cryptomnesia—copying the work of others without being aware of it—to blame for journalism's ultimate sin? Um, maybe not.