Infants' learning from videos : influence of character interaction & character familiarity
Lauricella, Alexis Re.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Children under age 2 are watching television (Rideout & Hamel, 2006) and the vast majority of products that are created for this audience claim to be educational (Garrison & Christakis, 2005). Evidence suggests that until children are approximately 2 years old, they tend to experience a video deficit effect, meaning they learn better from a live presentation as compared to video presentation (see Anderson & Pempek, 2005). The goal of these two studies was to determine what factors may ameliorate the video deficit in infants and toddlers. In Study 1, 15- and 18-month-old infants (N = 123) were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions (Parasocial-Interaction Video, Non-parasocial Interaction Video, Social Interaction Live, Non-social Interaction Live) or a Baseline Control condition. Results from Study 1 indicated that all four experimental conditions performed significantly better than the baseline control, and none of the experimental conditions differed from each other. Overall, girls performed significantly better than boys and 18-month-olds performed better than 15-month-olds. Findings suggest that both parasocial interactive cues and non-parasocial interactive cues can increase infants learning from media presentations. In Study 2, toddlers' learning of a classic Piagetian seriation task presented on video was assessed based on how familiar they were with the character. Sixty-four 21-month-old toddlers were randomly assigned to one of 3 demonstration conditions- Adult Live, Familiar Character Video, Unfamiliar Character Video- or to a No Exposure Control group. Results from Study 2 indicated that toddlers learned the seriation sequencing task better from a video when they were familiar rather than unfamiliar with the character on the screen. Nearly all the toddlers in the demonstration conditions used strategies to reach the goal-state of nesting the cups by size rather than directly imitating the behaviors performed. The findings demonstrate that children can learn an important task from a video presentation at very young ages when the character is familiar to them, thereby alleviating the video deficit that typically favors live over video models.
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