Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fast-paced, fantastical television shows may compromise learning, behavior of young children

12.09.2011
Young children who watch fast-paced, fantastical television shows may become handicapped in their readiness for learning, according to a new University of Virginia study published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics.

U.Va. psychologists tested 4-year-old children immediately after they had watched nine minutes of the popular show "SpongeBob SquarePants" and found that their executive function – the ability to pay attention, solve problems and moderate behavior – had been severely compromised when compared to 4-year-olds who had either watched nine minutes of "Caillou," a slower-paced, realistic public television show, or had spent nine minutes drawing.

"There was little difference on the tests between the drawing group and the group that watched 'Caillou,'" said lead investigator Angeline Lillard, a psychology professor in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences.

Lillard said there may be two reasons that a fast-paced and fantastical show would have a negative effect on the learning and behavior of young children.

"It is possible that the fast pacing, where characters are constantly in motion from one thing to the next, and extreme fantasy, where the characters do things that make no sense in the real world, may disrupt the child's ability to concentrate immediately afterward," she said. "Another possibility is that children identify with unfocused and frenetic characters, and then adopt their characteristics."

The children in the study, whether they watched the television shows or drew, were tested immediately afterward for how well they solved problems and followed rules, remembered what they had been told, and were able to delay gratification.

Lillard advises parents to consider the findings when making decisions as to which television shows to allow their young children to watch – if they watch television at all.

"Parents should know that children who have just watched 'SpongeBob Squarepants,' or shows like it, might become compromised in their ability to learn and behave with self-control," she said.

Lillard and her co-author, graduate student Jennifer Peterson, said that 4-year-olds are in an important development stage of their lives and that what they watch on television may have lasting effects on their lifelong learning and behaviors. Their study, however, focused on the immediate effects.

"Young children are beginning to learn how to behave as well as how to learn," Lillard said. "At school, they have to behave properly, they need to sit at a table and eat properly, they need to be respectful, and all of that requires executive functions. If a child has just watched a television show that has handicapped these abilities, we cannot expect the child to behave at their normal level in everyday situations."

She recommends that parents use creative learning activities, such as drawing, using building blocks and board games, and playing outdoors to help their children develop sound behaviors and learning skills.

"Executive function is extremely important to children's success in school and in everyday life," Lillard said. "It's important to their psychological and physical well-being."

Dan Heuchert | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.virginia.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>