British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 37 Issue 1 (March 2019), Pages i-iv, 1-147

How self‐generated labelling shapes transfer of learning during early childhood: The role of individual differences (pages 68-83)

Multiple factors influence imitation during toddlerhood, including task complexity, social contingency, and individual differences. We conducted a secondary data analysis of individual differences in self‐generated labelling using data collected from a complex puzzle imitation task with 355 2‐ to 3‐year‐olds. This analysis indicated that toddlers’ ability to label the completed puzzle (fish or boat) was associated with better imitation performance. Labelling occurs during social interactions; therefore, our second analysis tested how labelling differed as a function of the level of social scaffolding in each condition. This analysis revealed that self‐generated labelling was lower when the social demonstrator was removed and the task was presented on a touchscreen. This study is one of the first to examine self‐generated labelling during a complex imitation task in toddlers and increases our understanding of the complexity of memory processing needed for imitation learning. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Toddlers exhibit a transfer of learning deficit from 2D media, including books, TV, and tablets. Self‐generated labelling enhances children's learning, through attentional and cognitive mechanisms. Children are sensitive to reduced social cues in screen media contributing to the transfer deficit. What does this study add? Self‐generated labelling is associated with better goal imitation performance. Self‐generated labelling occurs more frequently under social conditions.

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