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Analysis of Factors that Influence Perspective-Taking in Young Children
AdvisorHayes, Linda J.
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The variables that affect a young child’s ability to perspective-take have seldom been researched in the area of behavior analysis. This study investigated the role of verbal behavior, duration of relationship, and to a lesser extent, the demographic factors that may affect a child’s ability to acquire the skill of perspective-taking. Sessions were conducted with five preschool participants ranging from 3 to 5 years of age. Each participant partook in video observation sessions, but the number of sessions was based on the child’s acquisition rate of this skill, and therefore ranged from 3 to 16 sessions. Further, data were taken on verbal behavior, such as statements of preference and observational statements, and reinforcement was provided for correct accounts. Results showed that while duration of relationship and verbal behavior did not influence the participants’ ability to perspective-take, they shed light on other demographic variables that appeared to contribute to each participants’ acquisition rate. The results of this study may help to further research in this area and develop affective ways to teach the skill of perspective-taking to children.