The Effects of Observing Errors on the Acquisition of Skills via Observational Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Developmental Disabilities
AbstractInclusion in general education settings is often times the goal for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related developmental disabilities. In most learning environments, educators model a behavior or skill, which students observe and engage in themselves at a later time. Thus, it is important to examine factors that influence learning from observation with this population. While previous research has evaluated the role of consequences during observational learning, researchers have not examined the impact of observing errors during observational learning. Participants of the current study observed an adult engage in receptive discrimination skills that the participant was not familiar with where 50% errors were made during the teaching of one stimulus set, and no errors during the other stimulus set. Participants were then asked to engage in the same skills to measure progress regarding their learning new skills via observation with and without errors. No learning occurred during either condition; both children were taught skills directly. Implications for more thorough analyses of pre-requisite skills and factors influencing behavior during testing conditions are provided.