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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

television, preschoolers, behavior, priming, effects, play

Abstract

This thesis investigates the relationship between educational television content and children‘s play behaviors immediately after viewing. Children ages 41-43 months of age were randomly assigned to view a television program with predominantly object-constructive or social dramatic content. All children participated in a period of video viewing, approximately 25 minutes in length, followed by a 30-minute play session. Each participant was subsequently administered a brief card sorting task to assess categorical knowledge of constructive and social activities. Each child‘s session was coded for looking at the television, toy choice, and play content (constructive or social-narrative). Video viewing condition and the interaction between categorical knowledge and condition significantly predicted children‘s subsequent play content. Taken as a whole, these findings imply that short-term priming effects of educational video viewing on children‘s play are present in 42-month old children but that these effects are moderated by children‘s categorical understanding of TV content.

First Advisor

Daniel R. Anderson

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