Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bridget Ryalls

Second Advisor

David M. Sutherland

Third Advisor

Joseph C. LaVoie


The present study examined the effects of different aged models (adult vs. peer) on infants' memory and imitative behaviors. Thirty infants between the age of 14- to 18-months were included in the study. Fifteen of the infants watched an adult model demonstrate two familiar three-step event sequences and two novel three-step event sequences on simple objects. The other fifteen infants observed a peer model perform the same event sequences on the same objects. Three questions were addressed: (a) Do infants learn to imitate three-step event sequences better from an adult or a peer model? (b) Do infants better recall familiar or novel events? (c) Are infants capable of recalling the event after a one-week delay? (d) Finally, if the age of the model interact with the other known determinants? The results indicated that overall, a peer model was more effective than an adult model. Second, recall for the novel events was superior to recall for the familiar events. Finally, memory was not affected by the one-week delay.

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