ERIC Number: ED221267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Who Flies, Who Cries? Children's Understanding of People from Television and Real Life.
The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a broad sense, children's understanding of various types of people in two social domains: television and real life. Specifically, the study was designed to solicit information about (1) the physical and psychological abilities and vulnerabilities children would attribute to television characters and real people, (2) the kinds of knowledge children of various ages would bring to bear in judging how people varied in their reality, and (3) the nature and extent of children's personal involvements with these models. A total of 70 kindergarten and elementary-age boys were presented with photographs of realistic television characters (such as Tom Bradford from "Eight is Enough"), mixed realistic characters (such as Fonzie from "Happy Days"), or unrealistic characters (such as Superman). Children were then asked to respond to 25 forced-choice questions about that person's attributes and to pick one character they wished they were and to give their reason for the selection; this procedure was repeated until each child's top four choices were obtained. In general, results indicated that the reality status of television and real people is evident to all children during the elementary years, but that children of various ages differ in how they interpret these differences among people. (MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Differentiation; Person Perception; Reality
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, September 1-5, 1980).