ERIC Number: ED194906
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Video Parade: Children's Understanding of Characters in the Preschool Years. Technical Report No. 19.
Robinson, Shari L.; And Others
A study was conducted to examine young children's perceptions of television characters. Three preschool children were observed intensively for three years, with supplemental information gained from parents' diaries and interviews. As the children watched television and as they engaged in television-related play, their verbal descriptions and comments about television characters were recorded and categorized. From age two to three years, the children were most interested in and adept at naming characters, describing their appearances, and associating them with places, objects, and other television characters. Behavioral and psychological attributes were additional foci of children's descriptions between ages three and four years. By five years of age the children began to discuss the relationships between characters. Their primary emphasis, however, continued to be in the more superficial areas of appearance and behavior. Other developmental trends included increased accuracy in naming, the use of generic labels (person, monster) rather than specific descriptors, increased use of multiple and elaborated behavioral and psychological traits, and the onset of describing interactions between characters (though primarily in unidirectional terms). (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, New York, NY.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Harvard Project Zero.