Theses Doctoral

The Effects of Peer Monitoring on Observational Stimulus Control in Preschoolers With and Without Social Delays

Vassare, Bianca

Two experiments were conducted to test the effectiveness of a peer-monitoring procedure on the induction of observational learning and observational performance of preschoolers via a combined experimental-control group design with a “nested” multiple probe across participants design (Greer & Du, 2015; Greer, Stolfi, & Pistoljevic, 2007). Six participants in Experiment 1 were split into matched pairs; one participant in each pair was assigned to the in-vivo condition, and one assigned to the video condition. All were assessed on their correct responding to in-vivo observational learning and performance probes prior to and following the peer-monitoring intervention. The peer-monitoring intervention consisted of two stages; the first was a training stage, in which participants monitored responses of peer confederates that were previously in their repertoire, and the second stage required participants to monitor responses not in their repertoire. The results of Experiment 1 showed that five of the six participants demonstrated that they had observational performance following the intervention. However, the emergence of the observational learning capability was only found with participants originally assigned to the in-vivo intervention condition. Upon completing the intervention again, but in the in-vivo condition, all participants originally assigned to the video intervention condition did demonstrate observational learning. In Experiment 2, the same procedures were implemented, however the observational performance and learning pre-and post-intervention probes were conducted in both the video and in-vivo conditions. In addition, I also tested the effects of the peer-monitoring procedure on the emission of social contact in a free play setting between experimental conditions. The findings remained constant in Experiment 2; the video condition was not effective in inducing observational learning, but was for observational performance. Therefore, the peer-monitoring intervention led to the emergence of observational performance, but the presence of a peer audience was required in order for observational learning to emerge. Furthermore, participants originally assigned to the in-vivo condition emitted higher numbers of social contact in a free play setting than the participants originally assigned video condition.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Dudek, Jessica
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 22, 2017