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Comparison of Video Modeling with In-Vivo Modeling for Teaching Children with Autism



“The present study was designed to compare the effectiveness of video modeling with in vivo modeling for teaching developmental skills to children with autism. A multiple baseline design across five children and within child across the two modeling conditions (video and in vivo) and across tasks was used. Each child was presented two similar tasks from his or her curriculum; one task was used for the video condition, while the other was used for the in vivo condition. Video modeling consisted of each child watching a videotape of models performing the target behavior, whereas in vivo modeling consisted of the children observing live models perform the target behavior. After the observations, children were tested for acquisition and generalization of target behaviors. Results suggest that video modeling led to faster acquisition of tasks than in vivo modeling and was effective in promoting generalization. Results are discussed in terms of video modeling’s motivating and attention maintaining qualities.”


The researchers showed that video modeling was more effective than in-vivo modeling for teaching behaviors, and—surprisingly—that superior outcomes were achieved in less time with video. The researchers showed that better results could be achieved with less cost and in less time using video instruction than could be achieved with live therapy instruction.



All five children acquired their specific tasks after exposure to video modeling rather rapidly. Importantly, video modeling promoted generalization of these tasks across different persons, settings, and stimuli, whereas in vivo modeling did not. This finding is notable in that the behavior of children with autism often does not generalize following training with traditional prompting and reinforcement procedures (Lovaas, Koegel, & Schreibman,1979; McGee, Krantz, & McClannahan,1985)

[Video modeling seemingly] improves motivation. In the present study, children were never given any typeof external reinforcer while they were watching the video, yet they still watched and learned these new behaviors.

Video modeling was found to be more time and cost efficient than in vivo modeling...Video modeling appears to be a promising technique that is effective, as well as efficient, for teaching children with autism new behaviors.