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Master of Business Administration (Communication Management)

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the MBA-PR

Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, PUNE Symbiosis International University March 2012

Chapter No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Table of Contents Executive Summary Acknowledgement Introduction Preface Theoretical Framework Conceptual Framework Literature Review Aims & Objectives Research Methods Conclusion Bibliography

Page No. 3 5 7 13 14 22 43 51 53 54 56

Executive summary

Approximately one-third of the worlds population is made up of 2 billion young people under 18. They make up half the population in the least developed nations; less than a quarter in the most industrialized ones. Their challenges range from basic survival to discrimination and exploitation. Moreover, there are myriad differences in cultures, traditions and values. Nevertheless, children and youth everywhere share some universal traits. They are fundamentally more optimistic, more open and curious than their adult counterparts. Increasingly, children are enjoying unprecedented freedoms in many countries. Unfortunately, others confront growing health and social problems, ranging from deepening poverty and ethnic strife to substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases, political turmoil and warfare. Arguably, the proliferation and globalization of media are among the key factors that have shaped and defined the current generation of young people. In many countries, youth have access to a greater number of multi-media choices than ever beforeconventional, satellite and cable TV channels; radio stations; newspapers and magazines; the internet and computer and video games. In addition, many are exposed to the same programs, the same characters and the same marketed spin-off products. Today there is greater availability of foreign programming and media, and less official censorship and control in many parts of the world. Information, email and images flow around the world faster and more freely than ever. Indeed, mass media are making the world smaller, and culture and media are increasingly inextricable, especially for young people.

Also with the fast development of the internet, the use of interpersonal as well as computer-mediated communication has changed greatly. A study of how young people use traditional and new media is crucial as it enables commercial and social marketers to fully understand the role of mass mediated messages in the lives of youth. As the youth market expands and consumption power increases, marketers need to capture the latest trends in order to reach the young generation


I first would like to thank The institute of symbiosis media and communication for bestowing upon me this opportunity to carry my research and providing me with all the assistance and knowledge to back it up.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Chandan Chatterjee, Director Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication Pune for his guidance and insights that have helped made this dissertation a success.

I would also like to thank my Guide Mrs. Radhika Ingale for her valuable inputs.

Last but not least; I would like to thank my family for their love and support, without which I would not be where I am today.


With the emergence of new technologies and revolution of media engineering , we are witnessing a strong and influential effect on our children .Childhood has been redefined thanks to the easy access to different medias.

When I talk about children I include all the children in the age group 4-15 who are exposed to any kind of media. In most cases these children belong to the socioeconomic classifications A,B & C not that I have not included the remaining but my research depends on the data from the aforementioned categories .In the paper I analyze the negative and positive effects of media on children

A number of theorists have propounded various theories regarding media and children.Niel Postman says that print media tends to keep secrets away from the child and thus cannot much learn from this medium, but on other hand the TV shatters all of that. It is simple accessible and highly detailed .Hence Joshua Markowitz says that print medium seems to segregate the child and the adult as there is a basic requirement of literacy competency. Television on the other hand reintegrates them thanks to audio-visual approach .But he also goes one step ahead and says that , print media brought in about interest in children and the electronic medium is responsible for its disappearance .

Who is more responsible for the prevalent phenomenon ?Media or parents ?This is a never ending debate ;we can never reach to an absolute conclusion ,pinning down on the culprit. Can we say with utmost conviction that the media is solely responsible for

depreciating value in childhood? Of course not, because on one hand we praise the media for disseminating educational programmes on television.

We should know that television was initially marketed as an educational machine, it seemed very much like a utopian idea, but then over the years television viewing revolutionized to the great extent and different form of content started taking over the screen. God forbid, any metion, insinuations or glimpse of anything remotely concerned with sex, violence or gore we castigate the media for vitiating our childrens minds. This dichotomy exists everywhere since people are conditioned to accept certain things that benefit them. Thanks to the easy access to the internet, kids are exposed to a galaxy of pornographic sites.

Children are exposed to media at a very early stage and due to this they tend to mature at a much faster rate .We quickly jump to the conclusion that the media is culpable for this transfiguration, followed by lack of governance, disciplinary action and rearing from parents. Childhood is a social struggle ,not a given or a fixed phenemona.Childhood is a subject most researched especially when the media is involved, ironically it is the adults who are controlling the research methods .They have put down the following points :

Children are vulnerable and in need of adult protection They are active audience.

Research methods include ethnography .The following conclusions have been reached so far with television

Children are no more passive recipients, but active processors of meaning. Children have enough experience to differentiate between real world and the virtual world.

Piagetian approach-Children have experienced the real world to such an extent that they can evaluate the production value and other nitty-grittys involved with the television industry.

Young children aged 6-8 years can distinguish between illusion and reality. Children can also be called as social audiances.How children interpret a show and discuss it in a different manner in front of different audiances,depending on their social standing in the society and the relationship they share with their people

We need to realize that there are a number of hidden truths and half truths. What might be frightening for one might be pleasure for another.The aim is not to identify whether the child is active and competent or passive and incompetent but to identify a range of different forms of activity and competencies, which are more or less likely under particular social and cultural conditions.


After television viewing, listening to the radio is the next most popular activity among children and young people worldwide. Actual listening rates among the young vary greatly, however, depending on the quality of national broadcasting and the availability of private alternatives. In many countries, there has been a boom among young people in radio listening over the past decade, the result of the emergence of dozens of private radio stations. This is particularly the case in Africa and the former Soviet bloc countries.

Most young people tune in to the radio primarily for music and entertainment. However, some local radio stations have been very successful in attracting and informing more socially active segments of the population, young and old alike. A good example is the ANEM network of independent radio stations in the former Yugoslavia. It has become a major source of diverse information and entertainment for youth interested in social life.

In some countries, listening to the largely political fare of public international radio broadcastersthe BBC, VOA, Deutsche Welle and Radio France International, among themremains surprisingly high among young people. According to 2003 surveys, 16 percent of young people 15 to 19 listened to international radio in Albania, 12 percent in Bangladesh, 21 percent in Nigeria and 26 percent in urban Haiti. These relatively high listening rates testify to young peoples interest in political and social events, and reflect the need for high-quality information, still lacking in many countries.

The Internet

The internet has been gaining popularity among young people, though at a much slower pace than television and radio. In spite of significant differences among the developed and developing world, the use of computers and the internet is rising steadily, fastest among young men. That there are so many more computer-literate young people than adults indicates the younger generations greater interest in and aptitude for technological advances. Around the world, young users are increasingly turning to the internet as a source of information, communication, socializing and entertainment. At the same time, web access is the source of the greatest divide, both between countries (internet use in industrialized countries far outpaces use in the developing world), and within countries (internet use concentrated among wealthier and better-educated urban youth).

Nevertheless, even in countries where internet and computer use is low, young people actively seek access whenever possible, most often in internet cafes. Young people are enthusiastic about the internet because, more than any other medium, it helps them establish contact with the outside world and freely seek information. Perhaps it is free access to information that also accounts for the higher levels of trust young people (and adults as well) often place in information on the web than in information from traditional media. But, the openness of the web and young peoples apparent inability to distinguish clearly between content and advertising worries parents and child advocates alike.


Young people use the internet primarily for communicating (email and chat rooms); downloading (computer games, software and music); and obtaining information (about education, entertainment, sports, taboo topics not addressed by adults, and news that may be censored for political motives).

Print Media

In contrast to the steady rise of other media, in many countries print media have experienced a setback from the role they once played. Several recent developments have served to further decrease the numbers of young readers of print media. In part, this is a result of the improved quantity and quality of information available from television and radio. In industrialized countries, young people are distracted by numerous media choices and technologies. In poorer countries, few youth-oriented publications exist and those that do often have limited circulation or are too expensive for most youth to afford. In the former Soviet bloc countries, youth press once played a fairly vibrant role and received significant government backing. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, youth press has largely disappeared and has not been replaced by a regular alternative forum for young people. Starting in the early 1990s, newspaper readership levels declined sharply throughout the region, especially in those countries experiencing the greatest economic difficulties. Many publications folded without government subsidies and could not attract sufficient advertisers or subscribers. Those that did survive had to raise their prices, making them unaffordable for many. Lastly, the distribution system was so badly weakened in many countries that it is now common for newspapers and magazines to arrive in rural areas weeks

and months late, if at all. The publications in strongest demand among young people are those that appeal to their specialized interestscomic books and popular specialized magazines on computers, fashion, sports, science, business and music. Many are high quality, with slick and appealing content that cater to young peoples interests, yet are often too costly for the average young person (or adult).



The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of Media on childrens attitudes cognitive, emotional and social development.

Consuming media, it seems, has far outstripped reading storybooks or playing dressup as the average American child's favourite pastime. Overall, children between the ages of two and 18 spend an average of almost five-and-a-half hours a day at home watching television, playing video games, surfing the Web or using some other form of media.

A look at the world media landscape for children and youth immediately presents two opposing themes: opportunities and risks. For example, globalization of media brings opportunities to broaden childrens outlooks and provide more equal access to information, but it also threatens cultural identification and values. Technological advances bring the promise of new skills and greater youth participation in society, but also increase the risk of child exploitation and informational divides. There is an urgent need for societies to both protect youth and empower them to shape their own media environments.



Classical Theories of Social and personal development

The Psychoanalytic Theory

The psychoanalytic perspective originated with Sigmund Freud whose psychosexual theory claimed that humans are driven by inborn sexual and aggressive instincts (Eros and Thanatos) that must be controlled. Much of human behaviour was said to reflect unconscious motives that people have repressed. Freud proposed five stages of psychosexual development oral,anal,phallic,latency ,and genital-in which three components of personality ,the id,ego,and superego,emerge and become closely integrated .

Eric Eriksons psychosocial theory revises and extends Freuds theory by concentrating less on the sex instinct and more on important sociocultural determinants of human development. According to Erikson ,people progress through a series of eight psychosocial conflicts beginning with trust versus mistrust in infancy and concluding with integrity versus despair in old age.Each conflict must be resolved in favour of the positive trait ( trust, for example) if development is to be healthy.

The Behaviourist Theory

The learning viewpoint or behaviourism, originated with John B Watson ,who argued that infants are tabulae rasae who develop habits as a result of their

social experiences. Development was viewed as a continuous process that could proceed in many different directions, depending on the kinds of environment to which a person is exposed.B.F.Skinner ,who extended Watsons theory ,claimed that development reflects the operant conditioning of children who are passively shaped by the reinforcers and punishments that accompany their behaviours. By contrast, Albert Banduras cognitive sociallearning theory viewed children as active information processors who quickly develop many new habits through observational learning.Bandura rejects Watsons environmental determinism, proposing instead that children have a hand in creating the environments that influence their development.

Media Violence

Theoretical Explanations of Short-Term Media-Effects

The short-term effects of media violence are largely attributed to priming, mimicry or arousal (Huesmann, 2007). Priming processes suggest that external stimulus can be inherently linked to cognition (e.g., the sight of a gun is linked to aggressive thoughts). Primed concepts thus make behaviours linked to them more likely to occur. In this perspective, media violence is purported to prime aggressive concepts, which in turn increases the likelihood of aggressive behaviour.

Even more simplistic, mimicry suggests that merely viewing media violence can lead to imitating the observed behaviour. Anecdotal evidence (e.g., copycat crimes) (Smith,

2004) and some scholarly work suggests that observing specific social behaviours effectively increases the likelihood of children behaving in the same way (Huesmann, 2007).

Arousal theory is also referred to as excitation-transfer theory, and was first proposed by Dolf Zillmann (Bryant, Roskos-Ewoldsen and Cantor, 2003). The theory is based on a number of assumptions about emotional responding. For example, emotions such as anger, fear, and sexual arousal are said to involve a substantial increase in sympathetic activation and have similar peripheral indices of arousal, such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure (Cantor, 2003). According to excitation-transfer theory, physiological arousal that occurs due to an emotion decays relatively slowly and can linger on for some time after the cause of the emotion. The intensity with which an emotion is felt also depends on the level of arousal existing at the time. As individuals have relatively poor insight into why they are physiologically aroused, an individual can confuse residual arousal with a new emotion (i.e., a misattribution) which leads the individual to feel the subsequent emotion more intensely (Cantor, 2003). Applying this theory to media effects suggests that the arousal induced by media violence could linger and make people who are angered feel their anger more intensely, as well as potentially make them react more violently if provided the opportunity to retaliate against their provoker (Cantor, 2003). Although arousal theory is supported by a great deal of evidence, some research suggests that imitating media violence can occur in the absence of elevated arousal or provocation (Cantor, 2003). This led Zillmann to revise his theory to account for what he believed were long-term media effects.

Zillmanns revised theory suggested that frequent, consistent and repeated activation of particular concepts results in the chronic accessibility of such constructs. If, then, media violence makes aggression scripts (i.e., an enduring hostile mental framework) chronically accessible, individuals thus exposed may be more likely than individuals without a history of heavy exposure to media violence to engage in aggressive behaviours (Cantor, 2003). Other theories also account for purported long-term media effects.

Theoretical Explanations of Long-Term Media Effects

The long-term effects of media violence are said to be due to observational learning and to the activation and desensitization of emotional processes (i.e., desensitization theory). (Huesmann, 2007). Observational learning theory suggests that when children observe others behaviours and make attributions for their actions, this leads to the development of cognitive scripts. As children age, normative beliefs about appropriate social behaviours become entrenched and act as filters to limit inappropriate social behaviour. These normative beliefs and scripts are thus influenced, in part, by childrens observation of behaviours around them, including those observed in the media. The theory therefore suggests that children who are developing scripts and normative beliefs can become aggressive if they observe violent behaviours depicted in the media.

According to desensitization theory, repeated exposure to emotionally activating media leads individuals to become habituated to these emotions, and consequently

leads to a decline in their negative emotional reactions (e.g., increased heart rate, perspiration) to stimuli that would ordinarily cause such reactions (e.g., violence). Desensitization itself is said to lead individuals to have the capability of acting aggressively without experiencing the negative emotions that would, under normal circumstances, circumscribe aggressive behaviour (Huesmann, 2007).

Individual Factors and the General Aggression Model

The processes outlined above represent basic learning and behavioural mechanisms and are also applicable to real-life experiences (as opposed to media-based experiences). The aforementioned theories also largely present media effects as affecting all individuals equally. However, such broad, overarching theories may be criticized as dubious given the widespread appeal of media violence and the comparatively scant number of people who engage in aggressive or violent behaviour. Some scholars have therefore proposed more attenuated media-effects theories. Craig A. Anderson (another strong proponent of the media effects argument) and his colleagues have proposed the general aggression model (GAM), which integrates many of the aforementioned theoretical models and takes into consideration developmental factors (see Anderson and Bushman, 2002a; Anderson and Carnagey, 2004; Anderson and Huesmann, 2003, as cited in Anderson, Gentile and Buckley, 2007). The model also distinguishes between variables and processes that operate in the current situation (e.g., person and situation variables) and those that exert influence over a long period of time (e.g., biological and environmental variables). The long-term variables (e.g., aggressive personality) are those that facilitate the current

situation variables, which in turn directly increase aggression or decrease normal inhibitions against aggression. According to the GAM, media violence is both an environmental factor (i.e., due to social learning) and a situational instigator (i.e., due to its cognitive links to aggressive scripts, schemas, and beliefs).

The model also assimilates advances in developmental theories that explain individual differences in development via a risk and resilience perspective (Anderson, Gentile and Buckley, 2007). Risk factors are life experiences that may put children at risk for future maladaptation, whereas resilience factors protect children from this risk exposure. Anderson and colleagues (2007) suggest that risk and resilience factors may explain why media effects affect some children to a greater degree than others, although they argue that media effects are likely a risk factor for all children. Risk factors that have been studied include marital discord, low socio-economic status, maternal psychological distress, single-parent status or divorce, low maternal education, and exposure to violence, as well as genetic risk factors for psychopathology or aggression (Anderson, Gentile and Buckley, 2007). Risk factors frequently coincide and are considered by some, such as Anderson and colleagues (2007), to have cumulative effects on childrens risks for healthy development. Resilience factors include good self-regulation, close relationships with caregivers and other adults, and effective schools (Anderson, Gentile and Buckley, 2007).

It is typically acknowledged that exposure to media violence will likely not, in itself, lead to extreme and rare violent behaviour (e.g., shooting someone). However, Anderson and colleagues (2007) suggest that someone who has other risk factors for

violent behaviour, and who, for example, is already verbally aggressive, may become more aggressive (e.g., push or shove others) due to media effects. They note, however, that media effects are also likely influenced by the developmental tasks children face as they mature (e.g., in infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence). For example, in middle childhood, learning social rules and norms takes on increased importance. As such, media effects may have short-term or long-term effects and may be very different depending on the age of the child.

Uses and gratifications theory

The uses and gratifications theory proposed by Blumler and Katz (1974) assumes that media users are goal-oriented. They play an active role in selecting and using the media to best fulfills their individual needs. The uses and gratifications theory shifts the emphasis of media communication studies from an effect perspective to an audience perspective. The uses and gratification theory assumes that the media users have a variety of choices to satisfy their needs and each medium can have different functions. Uses and gratifications theory is now widely accepted for nearly all kinds of mediated communication tools Elliott and Rosenberg (1987) remarked that audience motivations to use a certain type of mediated communication have been studied through this theory whenever a new communication technology is introduced. For example, the uses and gratification theory was adopted in the study of how adolescents used new technology, including VCRs (Lin, 1993),the impact of VCRs and cable TV on the passing-time and companion gratifications from watching television (Perse and Courtright, 1993), and the relationship between motivations and

consequences of using the internet .A recent study of 189 teenagers aged 14 to 19 in the USA found that the major use of the internet was for research and homework. Male respondents used the internet more frequently for games, music, shopping while female respondents used the internet more frequently for fashion and information about colleges/universities. Respondents found out web sites mainly by using search engines and asking friends. Respondents considered the internet the most preferred sources of communication about sensitive issues when they need information fast



Childrens media exposure

In the India, 47 percent of children ages two to 18 years have a television set in their bedrooms. A total of 75 percent of Indian teens have a television in their rooms, and 50 percent have their own PC on which they spend approximately two hours per day online. On a typical day, children ages two to 18 years spend on average of 5.5 hours using media, including television, print, computer games and the internet. Most children watch three to four hours of television per day; this is the number one afterschool activity for six to 17 year olds. This translates into about 1,500 hours in front of the television per year with each child viewing 20,000 television commercials per year, or 55 commercials per day . Children who watch four or more hours of television a day are more likely to believe advertising claims than children who watch less than four hours of television per day. Advertisers who target children have three main objectives: to directly seek children as customers, to work indirectly on parents through

childrens pester power, and/or to imprint the younger generation with positive brand associations (Paul, 2002).There is an interesting anomaly in the media choices confronting teens. On the one hand, many experts suggest that the media has become increasingly fragmented, resulting in a greater number of programming choices and over 200 magazines targeted at children.


While there are indeed more media options, these options are primarily controlled by five organizations: Rupert Murdocks Newscorp, Disney, AOL Time-Warner, Universal Vivendi and Viacom. Collectively, these organizations control four of the five major music companies, the major film studios, all television networks, all of the television stations in the ten largest markets, and most of the major cable systems. Viacom,for example, owns CBS, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Simon and Schuster Publishing, Paramount Studios, Blockbuster Video, etc. Some have suggested that the MTV network is nothing more than an uninterrupted array of promotional messages. Control of these various media companies provides the potential for cross-promotional opportunities

This consolidation likely guarantees that consumers in general, and teens in particular, will almost never be out of range of a commercial message


Development of Television Literacy

The primary danger of television lies not so much in the behaviour it produces, its the behaviour that it prevents: The talks,games,the family festivities and arguments through which much of the childs learning takes place and through which his character is formed. Turning on the television can turn off the process that transforms children into people.


Television literacy refers to ones ability to understand how information is conveyed on the small screen. It involves the ability to process program content to construct a story line from characters activities and the sequencing of scenes .It also involves an ability to interpret the form of message-production features such as zooms,fade-outs,splitscreens,and sound effects that are often essential to understanding a programs content

Prior to ages 8 or 9, children process program content in piecemeal fashion. They are likely to be captivated by zooms, fast-paced action, loud music and childrens or cartoon character voices, and will often direct their attention elsewhere during slower scenes that contain quiet dialogue. Consequently, pre-school children are usually unable to construct a causal chain of events leading from the beginning to the end of the story. Even 6 year old have trouble recollect a coherent story line due, in part, to their tendency to remember the actions that characters perform rather than the motives or goals that characters pursue and the vents that shaped these goals.Futhuremore, children younger than 7 do not fully grasp the fictional nature of TV programming often thinking character retain their roles in real life. And even though 8 yr olds may know that TV programming is fiction, they may still view it as an accurate portrayal of everyday events

Does their strong focus on actions and general lack of television literacy increase the likelihood that younger children will imitate the particularly vivid behaviours that TV characters display? Yes indeed ;and whether these imitations are beneficial or harmful depends on critically what children are viewing.

Television as Educational tool

SO far researches have mostly concluded the boon of Television. Yet we cannot complelty deny its positive effects, This early window could become a most effective way of teaching a number of valuable lessons if only its content were altered to convey such information.

Educational Television and childrens pro-social Behvaior.Many TV programs especially offerings such as sesame street are designed, in part, to illustrate the benefits of such pro social activities as cooperation ,sharing, and comforting distressed companions. One major review of the literature found that young children who often watch prosocially programming do become more prosocially inclined .However it is important to emphasize that these programs may have few if any lasting benefits unless an adult monitors the broadcasts and encourages children to rehearse and enact the pro social lessons they have learned .Furthermore, young children are more likely to process and enact any pro social lessons that are broadcast when the programming is free of violent acts that will otherwise compete for their attention. But despite these important qualitfications,it seems that the positive effects of prosocial programming greatly outweigh the negatives and that prosocial television actually promotes prosocial behaviour to a greater extent than violent television promotes aggression.


Television as a contributor to cognitive Development.

In 1968,the us government and a number of private foundations provided funds to create childrens Television workshop, an organisation committed to producing TV programs that would hold childrens interest and foster their intellectual development .CTWs first production, Sesame street, became the worlds most popular childrens series-seen an average of three times a week by about half Americas preschool children and broadcast to nearly 50 other countries around the world. Targeted at 3 to 5 yr olds, sesame street attempts to foster important cognitive skills such as counting, recognising and discriminating numbers and letters,ordering and classifying objects,and solving simple problems.A major aim of the programs was children from disadvantaged backgrounds tobe much prepared for school after viewing it on a regular basis.

Evaluating Sesame street

During the first season sesame street was broadcast,its impact was asseses by the educational testing service.About 950 3 to 5 year olds from five areas of the united states took a protest that measured their cognitive skills and determined what they knew about letters, numbers and geometric forms. At the end of the season, they took this test again to see what they had learned.

When the data were analyzed, it was clear that sesame street was achieving its objectives. Children who watched sesame street the most who watched sesame street were the ones who showed biggest improvement in their test scores.

Should Television be used to socialize children?

Although television is often criticized as an instigator of violence or an idiot box that undermines the intellectual curiosity of our young, we have seen that the medium can have many positive effects on childrens social, emotional and intellectual development. Should we now work at harnessing televisions potential-at using this early window as a means of socializing our children? Many developmentalists think so ,although not everyone agrees, as we see in the following newspaper account of a conference on behavioural control thorough the media .To set the stage ,the conference participants were reacting to the work of Dr .Robert M.liebert,a psychologist who had produced some 30 second TV spots to teach children cooperative solutions to conflict. Here is part of the account that appeared in the New York Times.

The concern of those conference participants is perhaps understandable ,for television is often used as a means of political indoctrination in many countires.And is the use of television for socialisation not a subtle form of brainwashing?Perhaps it is.However ,one could argue that television in this country is already serving as a potent agent of socialisation and that much of what children see in media helps to create attitudes and

to instigate actions that the majority of us may not condone.Perhaps the question we should be asking is Can we somehow alter television to make it a more effective agents of socialization-one that teaches attitudes,values,and behabiours that more accurately reflect the mores of a free society? surely we can,although it remains to be seen wether we will.

Learning from Educational Media

Educational television programs, those designed around a curriculum with a specific

goal to communicate academic or social skills, teach their intended lessons. But because most research assessing the effectiveness of educational curricula is proprietary or not published in archival sources, most program evaluations go unseen by the general public. Nevertheless, reviews of this research demonstrate the effectiveness, both short-term and long-term, of curriculum-based programming for children in areas as diverse as literacy, mathematics, science, and social skills.

Some television programs designed for young children focus on a variety of academic and

Social skills to help prepare children for entering school. One such program is Sesame Street, which has been by far the most studied childrens program, probably because of Sesame Workshops commitment to research, the programs longevity and popularity, and its long history of both criticism and praise.

Correlation research demonstrates a positive association between early exposure to Sesame Street and school readiness.45 that is, after analysts statistically control for a range of other factors known to affect school readiness, they find that preschoolers who view Sesame Street have higher levels of school readiness than those who do not. Nationally, there is some evidence for an increase in school readiness among preschoolers in recent years. One plausible explanation for this trend may be increased early exposure to television, particularly educational programs for young children, though as yet evidence is insufficient to draw solid conclusions. Although media may have contributed to the trend, many other explanations, such as increases in preschool enrollment, also are plausible.

Other forms of electronic media also have been used for education. For instance, some professionally produced, curriculum-based Internet websites for preschoolers are associated with television shows such as Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer, though no public domain research is available on the effect of these websites. Researchers have conducted studies on the use of educational software at home. For example, one experiment reported significant gains in the effectiveness of educational software when children were allowed to use the software at home as well as in school. Similar benefits have been reported by other researchers.

To summarize, it is clear that children can learn from educational media. Television programs designed with a specific goal to teach academic or social skills can be

effective with potentially long-lasting effects. Although scarce, research on interactive media software suggests similar results.

Change in consumer socialisation due to Advertisements aiming at children

Early research on consumer socialization consistently shows that there are three major socialization agents that influence childrens consumer behaviour. These are parents, peers, and mass media primarily television. According to these early studies, parents play the dominant influence role until the child reaches adolescence, when peers become the favored source of information Televisions influence is more steady, but less important in this process. Parents are the main source of rational influence on children, with peers and media being primarily irrational influences. More recent research on consumer socialization processes recommends that these traditional assumptions of this most widely-used consumer socialization model need to be investigated. More specifically, pre-adolescent children are playing a greater role in household decision making and are making more of their own independent purchases at earlier ages. Along with the drastic changes in media usage patterns and households, these recent trends indicate a need for updated empirical consumer socialization research. We propose here that the various sources of commercial influence on the consumer socialization process be examined in more detail.


This is especially true since children today spend more time in commercial settings than ever, such as shopping in stores, and are surrounded by commercial messages in a variety of forms (even at school in so-called educational formats)

Shopping, as a source of influence on young consumers, has never been examined empirically, yet appears to be a major activity for children. The average ten-year-old goes shopping 250 times per year, or approximately

five times per week .Children list it as their second favorite after-school activity, after watching television. Television, still an important part of media influence on children, is itself becoming less monolithic and increasingly more fragmented, targeting more specialized segments, not the least important of which are children .Another potentially strong influence on childrens marketplace behavior is the more pronounced role, described earlier, that brands are playing in their daily lives. The increased presence of brand names in our society has led to heightened brand awareness and preference among children at earlier ages. Not only are children exposed to more commercial hype in their daily lives, but also they are more likely to be surrounded by irrational sources of influence at earlier ages. In addition to spending less time with parents and more time with peers children are increasingly affected by peer pressure regarding popular brands. This is accompanied by celebrity endorsements with their favourite sports, music and entertainment stars pitching wellknown name brand products. A good example of this is the bad boy pitch which includes images from popular entertainment like Eminem. Children want socially conspicuous products as an affirmation of their individuality, in order to make a

statement. This could include the latest fad or trend available in the nearest Hot Topics store ( All of these factors are playing a more important part in the consumer socialization process, yet have not been specifically investigated empirically


All the parents and teachers who returned the questionnaire mentioned that the children were spending lots of time watching television. An analysis of their responses show that on school holidays children at early childhood age spend 2 to 7 hours of time watching television. About 29 percent of the respondents mentioned that their children watched television 4 to 7 hours on holidays. More than fifty percent of the respondents mentioned that their children watched television 2 to 3 hours a day on holidays. However, on the workdays the duration of watching television was limited to three hours maximum. A majority of respondents (61 percent) mentioned that the children watched television for about one hour a day. Thirty-three percent mentioned 2 hours and only 6 percent mentioned three hours of television watching on workday.

Effects of TV


No Effect-13%



An analysis of the distribution of time for various programs on national television channel shows that about 65 percent of time is used on entertainment related programs, about 21 percent of time on information related programs and 12 percent on educational programs. About 2 percent of the total time is being used for telecasting childrens program.

However, due to the ignorance and carelessness the parents and guardians allow children to watch all the programs without keeping in mind what is good for them to watch and what is not. Out of 87 respondents 34 mentioned that they had cable television and international program channels. The international television channels and cable television networks have been adversely affecting the socio-cultural life of many people in India. Many social scientists in the country are worried about the indiscriminate use of television by children as well as by adults. Of the 87 respondents (parents and teachers) only 4 mentioned that they did not allow children to watch television other than the childrens programs.

All the parents and teachers who returned the questionnaire mentioned that the children were spending lots of time watching television. An analysis of their responses show that on school holidays children at early childhood age spend 2 to 7 hours of time watching television. About 29 percent of the respondents mentioned that their children watched television 4 to 7 hours on holidays. More than fifty percent of the

respondents mentioned that their children watched television 2 to 3 hours a day on holidays. However, on the workdays the duration of watching television was limited to three hours maximum. A majority of respondents (61 percent) mentioned that the children watched television for about one hour a day. Thirty-three percent mentioned 2 hours and only 6 percent mentioned three hours of television watching on workday.

Effects of Television on Young Children

The parents and teachers where asked to state their observations and feelings about the effects of television on childrens study and general behavior. The responses received in this regard were mixed. About fifty percent of the respondents stated that the television was making positive effects on children.

About 13 percent mentioned that the television had not made any (neither 4 positive nor negative) effect on children. The rest (about 37 percent) of the respondents mentioned that the television was having negative impacts on the study habit and general social behavior of children.

Positive Effects.

Those who felt that the television was making positive effects on childrens behavior stated that as the result of viewing television children had become more knowledgeable about the international events, nature and the world large. For instance, a teacher mentioned that it would otherwise have been very difficult for

children to learn about sea and ship living in a landlocked country like India. From the television children easily understand the concepts of the things which are not available in the immediate environment. Some of the parents mentioned that due to watching television children have become inquisitive, clever, outspoken and interested in taking part in singing and dancing.

Negative Effects.

A majority of those who think that television is negatively affecting childrens behavior state that it is adversely affecting the study habits of children.

Children can watch television for hours and hours and while they are watching they forget everything. They even do not go to bed on time. They do not follow their regular routine. They become irritant when they have to follow the daily routines. Some of the parents have also mentioned that due to the television lots of indigenous cultural patterns are being changed. Children do not respect, as their elders would do in the earlier years.

The way of life of the youngsterstheir dress up, their hairstyle, walking style--all are being influenced by external cultures, which have entered in the country through television. They are worried that the influence will be greater when the young children of to day will get to adulthood. Some of the respondent school teachers mentioned that children use the fight, which they watch on television when they fight in and

outside the school. The children these days are becoming more violent. Whenever they fight they use both hands and foot. The children in the earlier years were not like that. Childrens Involvement in Violence as the Result of Viewing Television

After the analysis of questionnaire the respondents who mentioned that their children were involved in some kind of violence as a result of viewing television were again contacted for further information about the incidence. A total of six respondents mentioned that they witnessed such incidents in their families and relatives. A description of each incident, as stated by the parents, is given below.

1. After watching a horror movie on television, one girl child could not sleep soundly.She had seen a ghost chasing her, in the dream. So she was full of sweat when she got up early in the morning. The impact of the bad dream did not last the whole day.But the child was murmuring until late in the afternoon. So her family rushed her to the hospital for treatment.

2. In a very popular Hindu epic Tele-serial Ramayan, Hanuman, the son of the Wind God demonstrates his extraordinary power of flying. Inspired by this Tele-serial a child tried to fly himself from the roof of his two-storied house and was injured. He broke one of his legs and had to under go a major operation.

3. In another very popular Hindu epic Tele-serial Mahabharat, in a competition, the Hero, Arjun, hits one of the eyes of a moving clay fish with an arrow and marries

Dropati, the Princess. In an incident, a six-year old boy hit one of the eyes of his four years old cousin with a sharp arrow made of bamboo. The injured girl was taken to the hospital immediately but she lost one of her eyes for ever.

4. One of the respondents who is also a school teacher mentions that these days children use their legs while fighting. This she thinks is the influence of television. As a result of it, once a child was seriously injured when they played kicking as shown on the television. She further said that such a behavior is common in the case of boys.

The girls do not play such kicking games.

5. The WWF wresting shown on television is so popular among children and adults of all ages. In this program the fighters hit the opponents not only with their hands and legs but also with chairs, rods and belts. After watching this program a young boy,while playing, hit his father with a hammer on the head and made him unconscious.The father had to be hospitalized for two days.

6. A parent having a nuclear family (father, mother and a son) mentioned that she is having a problem with her son who is eight years old. Her son is addicted to watching television. For quite some time the parents watched television together with their son. The television they have has multi channel facility. MTV and Bay Watch were their favorite programs. The child watched the television program of his interest for hours with or without his parents by his side. The mother was shocked when the child asked his mother to dress up only in Bikini and kiss him the way he watched on the television screen. This made the mother realized their mistake of permitting the child to watch

indiscriminately. Now, the parents have allowed the child to watch only cartoon films and national programs. However, the mother says that whenever parents are away he keeps on changing the channels.

Child development in computer age

The results of literally hundreds of studies reveal that classroom use of computers produces many many benefits.For example ,elementary school students do learn more and report that they enjoy school more when they receive at least some computer assisted instruction(CAI).Many CAI programs are simply drills that start at a students current level of mastery and present increasingly difficult problems ,often intervening with hints or clues when progress breaks down.Other ,more elaborate forms of CAI are guided tutorials that rely less on drill and more on the discovery of important concepts and principles in the context of highly motivating ,thought provoking games

Social Impacts on computer programming

Are young computer users at risk of becoming reclusive, socially unskilled misfits as some people have feared? Hardly! Children often use home computers as a toy to

attract playmates. And research conducted in classrooms reveals that students who are learning to solve problems by computer or to program a computer 1) are likely to seek collaborative solutions to the challenges they face and 2) are more inclined to after experiencing problems when they are collaborating with a peer. Conflicts may arise should collaborations disagree about how to approach a problem; yet the strong interest that collaborators frequently display when facing a programming challenge often supersedes their differences and encourages amiable methods of conflict resolution. So computers seem to promote peer interactions contacts that are often lively and challenging ,and that appear to foster the growth of socially skilled behaviours.

Young people and the internet

Children and the youth are generally enthusiastic adopters of the internet for communication, entertainment and education. Children regard the internet as a flexible medium, and research has identified (in rank order) the following motives for using it: affinity with computers, information, entertainment, boredom avoidance, online social interaction, and off-line social interaction They often consider themselves to be more expert on internet than their parents .Although children and young people enjoy the digital web experiences and integrate them into their daily lives, internet use harbors negative impacts, both real and potential. Online dangers include exposure to


improper contents, the risk of encountering exploitative and dangerous contacts, as well as issues of privacy, advertising and commercialism.

The digital divide

A number of studies have identified attitudinal and behavioral differences between societies and cultures that use the internet. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 2000). Unlike television viewing, where parents can execute mediation and control confidently and smoothly, monitoring internet use is much more complicated. For example, certain television program genres (cartoons and educational shows) can quickly be judged as safe. Parents found it difficult to mediate the use of internet. Even if parents logged online, they would have a narrower range of personal goals online and use internet at a smaller range of places.

The common concerns about computers

Conerns about Video games :The results of one recent survey revealed that more than 80% of U.S adolescents spend two or more hours a week playing computer video games .It is not that this activity necessarily diverts children from schoolwork and peer activities ,as many parents have assumed;time spent playing at the computer is usually a substitute for other leisure activities ,most notably TV viewing .Nevertheless ,critics have feared (and early evidence suggests ) that heavy exposure to such

popular and incredibly violent video games as Alien Intruder and Mortal Kombat can instigate aggression and cultivate aggressive habits in the same ways that televised does.

But also If you bring the subject of video-game violence up with parents, youll often hear the viewpoint that playing violent video games may actually help children channel or reduce their aggression. Playing sports has long been seen as a means of channelling energy and aggressive tendencies could it be possible that playing violent video games can have similar benefits?

Concerns about social inequalities: Other critics are convinced that the computer revolution may leave some groups of children behind, lacking in skills required in our increasingly computer-dependent society. For example, children from economically disadvantaged families may be exposed to computers at school but are unlikely to have them at home .Also, boys are far more likely than girls to take an interest in computers and sign up for computer camps. Why? Probably because computers are often viewed as involving mathematics, a traditionally masculine subject, and many available computer games are designed with boys in mind .Yet this gender gap is narrowing, largely due to increase use of computers to foster cooperative classroom learning activities that girls typically enjoy.


Concerns About Internet Exposure : The proliferation of home computers and online services means that literally millions of children and adolescents around the world may now have unsupervised access to internet and the world wide web.Clearly,exposure to information available on the web can be a boon to the students researching topics pertaining to their school assignments .Nevertheless many parents and teachers are alarmed about potentially unsavoury web influences.For example ,children and adolescents chatting with acquaintances on-line have been drawn into cybersexual relationships and,occasionally,to meetings with and exploitation by their adult chat mates.Furthuremore,the web is a primary recruiting tool for such cults as Heavens Gate,as well as hate organizations such as the ku Klux klan.So there are reasons to suspect that unrestricted web access could rpove harmful to some children and adolescents,and additional research aimed at estimating these risks is sorely needed.

Like television sets, then,computers may prove to be either a positive or a negative force on development ,depending on how they are used. Outcomes may be less than positive if a young persons primary uses of the machine are to fritte away study time chatting about undesirable topics on-line, or to hole up by himself ,zapping mutant aliens from space. But the news may be rather positive indeed for youngsters who use computers to learn, to create, and to collaborate amicably with siblings and peers.



This overview of trends and issues concerning young people and the media is based on a broad review of existing print and electronic sources, interviews with child media experts from different regions, and analysis of surveys in transitional and developing countries. The trends and issues highlighted herefrom young peoples media options and behaviour, to the quality and influence of media aimed at themall point to the need for more effective use of the vast positive potential of mass media and new technologies.

As media options for most children have grown in recent decades, so too have concerns about the quality of media aimed at children. Growing numbers of parents, educators, researchers and policy-makers around the world are alarmed about the lack of quality media for children and young people and the growing availability of lowquality entertainment featuring violence, sexual content, undesirable role models and lack of diversity. There are also serious questions about the short- and long-term effects of this material.

Numerous studies have been done on the effects of mediaviolence in media in particularon children. Young people often speak of the power the media has on their lives, and any parent can attest to the impressionable, unquestioning and imitative nature of children. How much the mass media influence children and young people is somewhat debatable, but sociologists and researchers in different regions have observed some of the following adverse effects:

growing influence of entertainment media on youth style and identity Decreasing role of traditional sources of influence: family, school, community, religion, etc.

appeal of individualism and personal, as opposed to collective or societal, achievement

some confusion in values (misguided sense of right and wrong, of human relations)

an increasingly blurred line between advertisements and program content distortion of reality and rising expectation gaps newfound culture of glamour and celebrity creation of harmful or unrealistic stereotypes; a promotion of intolerance or apathy

emphasis on the banal and trivial; de-emphasis on education, creativity and culture

Tendency for young people to think less for themselves and to follow media-set agendas.

Children and youth advocates lament these negative effects because they recognize the enormous, potentially positive influences media can have on young audiences namely broadening their world outlook and destroying stereotypes, increasing communication and access to diverse ideas, and promoting critical thinking and participation in social and political life.


What Constitutes Quality Media for Young People?

There is no clear consensus on what comprises quality media for children/young people. Producers, childrens specialists, parents and children all have somewhat different notions, although criteria such as being credible, comprehensible and uplifting, and empowering youth to think for themselves are recognized as key ingredients. Indeed, it seems easier to agree on what quality media for young people is not: dull, boring, patronizing, overly commercial or violent, vulgar, disrespectful, biased, manipulative or corruptive.

While it is important to remember children and young people are as diverse in their tastes as adults, they tend to favour entertainment-oriented content, with lively and interesting characters, informal style and language, and dynamic and engaging presentation. They are also naturally drawn to subjects that interest themmusic, sports, style, culture, celebrities, science and technology, etc.and those that convey messages about how to have fun, be successful and look good.

Yet young people are not interested solely in light entertainment fare. They are also eager to learn, and drawn to information that shapes their identities, builds their sense of social belonging and makes sense of the world. They are attracted to content that entertains them, and to that which presents children and young people similar to themselves, in situations that relate to their own lives. Some young people contributing to UNICEFs Voices of Youth website have lamented the frequent stereotypical portrayals of young people as trendsetters or high-achievers on the one hand, or

victims or wrong-doers on the other. They note the general absence from the media of the ordinary young person who lives a typical life with routine ups and downs.

Many young people also appreciate media content that deals credibly with topics they may find difficult to discuss with parents or adults, such as personal relationships, sexuality, AIDS, drugs, selfesteem, etc. They value factual information and advice provided by experts, as well as material prepared and presented by young people themselves. In focus groups InterMedia has conducted in different countries, youth say they believe only young journalists can really understand their problems.

Similarly, young people feel adults either miss the point or present issues in ways that are too serious, pedantic or patronizing. In addition, youth in countries with widespread poverty, corruption, political turmoil and/or disease also seek realistic, relevant and meaningful content to help them understand and cope with hardships they face in their daily lives.

Effect of Media Violence

There has also been research related to Whether or not exposure to media violence causes increased levels of aggression and violence in young. This review is meant to provide the reader with a holistic understanding of the media effects debate. First, one must consider the theoretical models meant to explain media effects, which are essentially two-part. While some theories suggest that media violence leads to the social learning of violent behaviour, other theories suggest that entertainment is typically used to manage moods, and that those who are aggressive actively seek out

violent media content. A review of some of the research on media effects suggests that there is some support for the social learning perspective. Small media effects have been observed in laboratory settings, and cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have revealed some associations between consuming violent media and behaving aggressively or violently; however, the findings do not provide clear and consistent evidence that media violence causes aggressive and violent behaviour. At best, one could surmise that there is an association between media violence and aggression. However, claims that this association is causal are met with serious criticisms. Many studies that are said to support this causal association are fraught with methodological problems, such as weak measures of aggression and failing to consider other important factors when measuring the effects of media violence.

Theories that do not suggest that there is a causal relation between exposure to media violence and aggression or violent behaviour are also supported by substantial evidence. For example, research is said to generally support the notion that the enjoyment of media violence is highest for viewers who possess characteristics associated with aggression (Oliver, Kim and Sanders, 2006). Social learning theories are further plagued by research that suggests that the developmental stages of children greatly influence the impact of media violence, and that media violence does not have the cumulative effects one may expect. For example, research on the frightening effects of media suggests that the element that frightens children changes as they mature. With increasing maturity, children respond less to the perceptible characteristics of the media (e.g., the imagery and appearance) and respond more to

the conceptual aspects of the media (Cantor, 2006). If such is the case for the frightening effects of media, one might hypothesize that the effects of media violence are likely similar. As such, the alleged underlying messages of violent content may not emphatically reach youth until they are somewhat older, effectively casting doubt on claims that young children learn long-term social messages from media violence.

Despite the lack of consistent support for a causal relation between exposure to media violence and aggressive or violent behaviour, this review has shown that there have been persistent and substantial attempts by various scholars and organizations to categorically state that media violence causes aggression and violence (even when substantial evidence suggests the contrary). Research on the third-person effect suggests that individuals are inclined to believe that the media can have effects on viewers, especially if these viewers are children, due to factors such as the salience of media violence and downward comparisons to others. Combined, these factors provide a narrative for the widespread misattributions of real-life violence and crime to media violence.

This reflects three grey areas or constraints

First, media violence is notoriously hard to define and measure. Some experts who track violence in television programming, such as George Gerbner of Temple University, define violence as the act (or threat) of injuring or killing someone, independent of the method used or the surrounding context.

Second, researchers disagree over the type of relationship the data supports. Some argue that exposure to media violence causes aggression. Others say that the two are associated, but that there is no causal connection. (That both, for instance, may be caused by some third factor.) And others say the data supports the conclusion that there is no relationship between the two at all. Third, even those who agree that there is a connection between media violence and aggression disagree about how the one effects the other. Some say that the mechanism is a psychological one, rooted in the ways we learn.

Other researchers argue that it is the physiological effects of media violence that cause aggressive behaviour. Exposure to violent imagery is linked to increased heart rate, faster respiration and higher blood pressure. Some think that this simulated "fight-or-flight" response predisposes people to act aggressively in the real world.

The lack of consensus about the relationship between media violence and real-world aggression has not impeded ongoing research. Heres a sampling of conclusions drawn to date, from the various research strands:

Research strand: Children who consume high levels of media violence are more likely to be aggressive in the real world

Research Strand: Children who watch high levels of media violence are at increased risk of aggressive behaviour as adults

Research Strand: The introduction of television into a community leads to an increase in violent behaviour

Research Strand: Media violence stimulates fear in some children

Research Strand: Media violence desensitizes people to real violence

Research Strand: People who watch a lot of media violence tend to believe that the world is more dangerous than it is in reality

Gerbners research found that those who watch greater amounts of television are more likely to:

overestimate their risk of being victimized by crime believe their neighbourhoods are unsafe believe "fear of crime is a very serious personal problem" assume the crime rate is increasing, even when it is not

Research Strand: Family attitudes to violent content are more important than the images themselves.

However the theories show no consensus of existence of conclusive link between violence portrayed in electronic media and violent behaviour



The major objectives of this study is to

Determine if there is a link between media and the conginitve development of children

To determine if violent media exposure leads to aggressive behaviour in children

To determine if children play a higher role in the buying decision due to increase exposure of media and advertisements.

To determine whether media influence on children depends more on the type of content that children find attractive than on the sheer amount of time they spend in front of the screen. Focus: to observe the impact of the various media in the cognitive emotional and social development of children Need for study: Research studies over the years have brought out various types findings of either negative or positive nature, mainly the latter, viewing of television by children. The need for this study is to reinforce the fact that kids do get direct influence of TV viewing but it would be premature to reach a conclusion on the extent of violence and deviant behavior pattern of children in India



Type of research: My research is a causal research as it is designed to provide information on a potential cause and effect relationships. In this case, cause being the media and effect on the target audience ,children between the age group of 4-14.It is the most practical for my research as I will study the about associations or impact of one variable on another

The research consists of

Case studies Focus Group discussions(based on the views of 87 parents having children below eight years of age. Thirty-nine of the parents were pre-primary school teachers with at least one child aged below eight. )

Secondary research

Data collection tools

Research papers Considering this topic as been take up for research purposes a number of times it was only wise to go through as many research papers to understand their standpoint and see if they have missed something of significance that I could supplement in my research paper


Wet through a number of books to get a better grip on the topic and present my view on the subject as clearly as possible. Internet The web is a huge portal filled with important data and information of good use. Though maximum material that used off the net was published articles that speak exclusively of the kids television space and the current happenings in the television medium. What was a hit and what was a miss.


Keeping everything constant, this research has identified a problem .The problem per se is multi fold or multi layerd.It has been noticed that all previous studies done on similar topics have borne a negative tone. The problem here is that I as he researcher might get influenced by the data collected .It is my imperative duty to ensure that nothing of this occurs Most important problem is that I will have to face is doing my primary research, which would include interviewing a number of children in the age group of 1015.The problem with this is that I wont be able to interview young children of the fear of aiding them with certain questions which will adulterate my research study



Many studies have linked media use with cognitive skill development and academic

Achievement, with most thorough studies strongly suggesting that content is the most

Important mediating factor in that relation. Although the finding is particularly true for

Television, it is likely to be important for interactive media as well. There is strong

evidence that children older than two learn from educational media, and there is moderate evidence that exposure to educational television during the preschool years is positively linked with various measures of academic achievement even ten years later.Moderate evidence also suggests that early exposure to purely entertainment content, and media violence in particular, is negatively associated with cognitive skills and academic achievement. Research findings regarding the benefits associated with exposure to highquality, age-appropriate, educational media offer producers of childdirected media an important opportunity to capitalize on the time that children older than two spend using these media. In fact, both producers and parents can take steps to maximize the positive effects of media and minimize negative ones. Research should guide the production of programs that foster learning and transfer. Moderate evidence suggests that parents can also maximize the benefits of media by selecting age-appropriate, educational programs and co-viewing with their children.

Our review of media effects research is based largely on studies of young children of preschool age and older. Substantially less research is available on media exposure in

children younger than two, and what little there is strongly suggests that learning from media by infants and toddlers may be different than it is for older children. Children under two suffer from a video deficit such that they learn substantially less from video than from comparable real-life experiences.

Moreover, weak but nonetheless worrying evidence suggests a negative association between exposure to television younger than age two and later cognitive development. Given the dramatic increase in media now being produced for infants and toddlers, it has become particularly important to understand the effect of media during the first few years Taken together, the research indicates that electronic media are powerful influences on the lives of contemporary children. With advances in technology such as larger screens that provide images in high definition, three dimensional surround sound, and greater possibilities for interaction, the power of media will likely only increase for the foreseeable future. The influences can be both for good and for ill. Researchers are beginning to understand which aspects of media should be reduced and which enhanced, but further research is required. Ultimately, however, the question is whether society has the ability and will to enhance the positive aspects of media and reduce the negative.



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