Third Party Social Interaction and Word Learning from Video
O'Doherty, Katherine Duffy
In previous studies, very young children have learned words while “overhearing” a conversation, yet they have had trouble learning words from a person on video. Here, 64 toddlers viewed an object labeling demonstration in one of four conditions. In two, the speaker (who was present or on video) directly addressed the child and in two, the speaker addressed another adult who was present or was with her on video. Children were significantly more likely to learn the novel word as onlookers than when they were directly addressed--both in the live and video conditions. A follow-up study suggests that toddlers learn best when they either observe or participate in a social interaction (compared to simply watching a one-sided demonstration, whether on video or in person).