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Title page for ETD etd-07272007-143926

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Strouse, Gabrielle A
URN etd-07272007-143926
Title Toddlers' imitation of new skills from video
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Georgene Troseth Committee Chair
Megan Saylor Committee Member
  • social cognition
  • Television in education
  • representation
  • Imitation in children
  • Toddlers -- Education
Date of Defense 2007-07-23
Availability unrestricted
Imitation of people on educational television is one way for very young children to learn new skills. Toddlers in previous studies exhibited a “video deficit” – learning less well from people on video than face-to-face. In contrast, 24-month-olds in Experiment 1 successfully imitated a 3-step sequence modeled by a person who was on video or present in the lab (after a 24-hour delay). In Experiment 2, toddlers continued to successfully imitate after a change in the context of the video and after cuts were inserted between actions. However, in Experiment 3, shortening the demonstration affected imitation from video but not from a live modeler, resulting in a video deficit pattern. A video deficit also occurred in Experiment 4; 24-month-olds who viewed the videos on their family TV sets (where they had likely viewed cartoons and other fantasy programming) imitated significantly less than those who viewed the videos in the lab. Imitation of an in-person modeler was the same in both settings. Implications for the design of educational television programs are discussed.
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