Effects of model persistence and success on children's problem solving

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Studied the effects of a social model's performance on children's persistence in problem solving using a wire-puzzle task. 80 1st and 2nd graders were assigned to 1 of 4 live modeling groups or to a no-model control group. Two durations of model effort (high or low persistence) relative to the control group performance were factorially compared with model success or no success in reaching a solution. Both duration of effort and success of the model significantly affected persistence. Together these variables significantly improved or depressed the Ss' persistence compared with that of the control group. Social comparisons by the Ss of the length of their performances and those of the models appeared to covary with imitative behavioral outcomes. Results are discussed in terms of A. Bandura's social learning theory. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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