ERIC Number: ED224605
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Selective Attention to Television Forms on Children's Comprehension of Content.
Calvert, Sandra L.; And Others
The purposes of this study were to provide information about how formal features of television are related to children's selective attention and to determine how selective attention is related, in turn, to comprehension of content. Formal features are defined as attributes of television productions that are relatively content-free and that result from visual and auditory production techniques. Specifically, it was hypothesized that features influence comprehension in two ways: (1) salient features may draw attention selectively to certain content--that is, they may serve to emphasize and mark important content, or (2) salient features may provide a developmentally appropriate mode of representation for encoding content in iconic or symbolic codes. Analysis included an investigation of the information processing chain from the effects of salience on attention to later comprehension of content. A total of 128 children at two age levels (kindergarten and and third/fourth graders) viewed a prosocial cartoon in same-sex pairs. Each child's visual attention to the television screen was continuously scored on a Datamyte. Children were then given a recall test consisting of 60 multiple-choice items. These questions had previously been cross-classified according to dimensions of content (either central or incidental) and formal features used to present that content (either salient or nonsalient). Results are discussed. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Kansas Univ., Lawrence. Dept. of Human Development.
Identifiers: Form Stimuli; Perceptual Salience; Selective Attention
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Boston, MA, April 2-5, 1981).