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ERIC Number: ED246511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Improving TV Program Comprehensibility: Developmental Effects of Visual and Verbal Production Features.
Calvert, Sandra L.; And Others
Preplays (critical material presented before a televised program) were inserted before three sections of a televised story to determine if they would improve children's attention and comprehension by providing overall plot structure for selecting and integrating important story events. The preplays varied on two orthogonal dimensions: presence or absence of visual events and concrete or inferential story narrative. In same-sex pairs, 160 first through fourth grade students saw an animated television story with or without preplays. A control group saw no preplays. Each child's visual attention to the television screen was recorded continuously. After viewing, the children ordered four pictures and then answered multiple choice questions assessing recognition of implicit, central-concrete, and incidental content. Results indicated that preplays facilitated attention, which, in turn, predicted comprehension of visually presented information. Older children attended longer to inferential preplays and performed better on the implicit comprehension task, while younger children attended longer to concrete preplays. The inferential narration was effective as an aid to comprehension, but only when it was within a child's range of comprehensibility. Findings suggest that television producers can use preplays to improve comprehension, but effectiveness reflects the match between a child's cognitive level and the information processing demands of the presentation. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (34th, San Francisco, CA, May 24-28, 1984).