Age-related changes in deferred imitation from television by 6- to 18-month-olds

Dev Sci. 2007 Nov;10(6):910-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00641.x.


During the second year of life, infants exhibit a video deficit effect. That is, they learn significantly less from a televised demonstration than they learn from a live demonstration. We predicted that repeated exposure to televised demonstrations would increase imitation from television, thereby reducing the video deficit effect. Independent groups of 6- to 18-month-olds were exposed to live or videotaped demonstrations of target actions. Imitation of the target actions was measured 24 hours later. The video segment duration was twice that of the live presentation. Doubling exposure ameliorated the video deficit effect for 12-month-olds but not for 15- and 18-month-olds. The 6-month-olds imitated from television but did not demonstrate a video deficit effect at all, learning equally well from a live and video demonstration. Findings are discussed in terms of the perceptual impoverishment theory and the dual representation theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child Development*
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Infant
  • Learning*
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Television*
  • Videotape Recording