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Effects of prompting and reinforcement of one response pattern upon imitation of a different modeled pattern

  • Andrew S. Bondy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1982


Twelve preschool children participated in a study of the effects of explicit training on the imitation of modeled behavior. The responses trained involved a marble-dropping pattern that differed from the modeled pattern. Training consisted of physical prompts and verbal praise during a single session. No prompts or praise were used during test periods. After operant levels of the experimental responses were measured, training either preceded or was interposed within a series of exposures to modeled behavior that differed from the trained behavior. Children who were initially exposed to a modeling session immediately imitated, whereas those children who were initially trained immediately performed the appropriate response. Children initially trained on one pattern generally continued to exhibit that pattern even after many modeling sessions. Children who first viewed the modeled response and then were exposed to explicit training of a different response reversed their response pattern from the trained response to the modeled response within a few sessions. The results suggest that under certain conditions explicit training will exert greater control over responding than immediate modeling stimuli.

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