facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

'SpongeBob' may hurt child's learning

Sept. 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Watching 9 minutes of "SpongeBob SquarePants" negatively affected a group of 4 year olds, impacting behavior, problem-solving and focus, U.S. researchers say.

Lead investigator Angeline Lillard, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, and co-author Jennifer Peterson, a graduate student, said similar results were not observed in 4-year-olds who watched 9 minutes of "Caillou," a slower-paced, realistic public television show, or after 9 minutes of drawing.

"At school, children 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," Lillard said in a statement. "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."

Lillard said the fast-paced and fantastical program such as "SpongeBob SquarePants" may hurt childrens' ability to learn or practice self control.

"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," Lillard said.

"Another possibility is that children identify with unfocused and frenetic characters, and then adopt their characteristics."

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Richmond hospital patient tests negative for Ebola Richmond hospital patient tests negative for Ebola
2
CDC's Frieden admits uncertainty over Texas Ebola transmission CDC's Frieden admits uncertainty over Texas Ebola transmission
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Changing the names of drugs to reflect their effects Changing the names of drugs to reflect their effects
5
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback