Don’t try this at home: Toddlers’ imitation of new skills from people on video
School of Education Counseling and Psychology in Education
Representation; Symbol; Imitation; Social cognition; Video; Television
Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Educational Psychology
Imitation of people on educational television is a potential way for very young children to learn new skills. Although toddlers in previous studies exhibited a “video deficit” in learning, 24-month-olds in Study 1 successfully reproduced behaviors modeled by a person who was on video as well as they did those modeled by a person who was present in the room (even after a 24-h delay). Neither displaced filming context nor cuts between actions affected toddlers’ imitation from video. Shortening the demonstration in Study 2 affected imitation in the video condition but not in the live condition. In Study 3, 24-month-olds who viewed the original longer videos on their family TV screens (with which they had a viewing history) imitated significantly less than those who viewed the videos on the laboratory monitor. Imitation of a live modeler was the same across settings (home or lab). Implications for toddlers’ judgments of reliable information sources and for the design of educational television programs are discussed.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
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Strouse, G. A., & Troseth, G. L. (2008). Don’t try this at home: Toddlers’ imitation of new skills from people on video. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101, 262-280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2008.05.010