ERIC Number: ED223329
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Heroes, Humbugs, and Also-Rans: Children's Preferences and Evaluations Concerning Television Characters. Technical Report No. 25.
Robinson, Shari; And Others
The relationship between younger and older children's stated preferences for television characters and their conceptions of those characters was investigated among students in the second and fifth grades. Of particular interest was the possible effect of children's preferences on the developmental shift from external to internal attributes. Using sets of photographs in a sorting task, 20 girls and 20 boys from two age groups (a total of 80 subjects) chose a preferred, nonpreferred, and neutral character from each of two frequently watched situation comedies. Next, the children responded to multiple-choice scene dilemma tasks, designed as story contexts into which the children could "project" their evaluation of six characters. Subjects were then asked to describe the characters as completely as possible, to state each character's most important attribute, and to explain why they did or did not "want to trade places" with the character. Data from these free descriptions were examined for length and were coded for evaluation (positive, neutral, negative) and for both content and depth of description (surface, active, internal) according to a category and subcategory system. Another 40 children, forming a roughly equivalent "baseline" group, provided data for correction score calculations on the dilemma task. Results are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Harvard Project Zero.