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Theses Doctoral

An Analysis of the Relation between Preschool Children’s Attention to Peers and the Presence of the Behavioral Developmental Cusp for Learning by Observation

Byers, Erika M.

In 2 studies, I sought to determine the relation between peer attention and the behavioral developmental cusp for learning by observation. In Experiment I, I selected 21 preschool-aged participants with and without developmental disabilities and screened the participants for a) peer attention; b) observational performance; c) observational learning of new operants; and d) observational learning of reinforcers. The results demonstrated that each of the participants all fit into 1 of 4 groups, based on the presence of peer attention and the 3 types of observational learning. I implemented the peer-yoked contingency gameboard intervention for the 14 participants who did not demonstrate one or more types of observational learning. The results of Experiment I demonstrated that only the participants with peer attention in repertoire acquired all three types of observational learning as a function of the peer-yoked contingency gameboard observational intervention. Serendipitous findings yielded a possible correlation between the different types of observational learning. In Experiment II, I conducted repeated probes to determine if all three types of observational learning would emerge for participants with peer attention. All 6 of the participants in Experiment II acquired all three types of observational learning, as a function of the repeated probes. Observational learning developmental trajectory findings are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Dudek, Jessica Lee
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2016