The Effects Of Media On Children 's Psychological Abilities Essay

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Cartoons are embedded in American culture. Once animation migrated from the silver screen to the television in 1950s, its popularity grew into a bastion of children’s entertainment (Booker, 2006). Today, over fifty years since its TV debut, animated content is a premiere form of media, consumed by children of all ages. But what has been the result of this consumption? At the intersection of communication and psychology, at the junction of media effects and cognitive development, lies a growing body of research concerned with the impact cartoons have had and continue to have on children. Research theory provides direction in this matter.
The theoretical foundation of the present study is Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory (CDT). In Anderson’s (1998) research, CDT was connected to the idea of executive function. This theory states that the growth of children’s psychological abilities occurs through four discrete stages, wherein children differ in behavioral and cognitive prowess: sensorimotor stage (0-2 years), preoperational (2–7 years), concrete operational (7–9 years) and formal operational (9-adolescent) (Anderson, 1998). One significant aspect of a child’s development that will be examined in the present study is executive function (EF).
Based on previous research on the subject, Anderson (1998) defined executive functions as “skills necessary for purposeful, goal-directed activity,” (p. __). The parts of the brain, residing in the central nervous systems (CNS) that
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