Research 2: Sm(all) Change? – Report
- Children tend to shift from glancing to watching as they move higher up the 0-6 age bracket, although the behavioural pattern can be complicated.
- Live TV is still hugely popular and influential in this age bracket
- Watching TV is an active pursuit
- Older preschool children have a need for strong narrative in programming
- TV can provide an opportunity for learning, but social interaction is still crucial
- ‘Fear’ is unpredictable.
Fiona Scott, postgraduate researcher from Sheffield University, presented her study into understanding and engaging a transitionary preschool television audience, looking at how engagement with TV and other media changes as a child rapidly develops.
The presentation focussed on the following areas:
- How do children change cognitively and socially between the ages of 0 and 6?
- How do these transitions relate to their television habits, choices, engagement and learning?
- What are the implications of this information?
- Headline findings of recently completed survey (1,200 UK parents) and insights from ongoing longitudinal qualitative fieldwork.
The qualitative case studies in the research also highlighted some ‘myth-busting’ statements:
- Myth 1: Watching TV is a sedentary activity (citing the example of a three-year-old child watching Balamory whilst seated on a bicycle).
- Myth 2: Watching TV is a solitary activity. A survey showed parents spend a lot of time watching with pre-schoolers, reducing slightly as they move up the age bracket.
- Myth 3: Young children can’t make reality judgements about advertising. The case studies showed how some children are demonstrably aware of the concept of adverts.
Full audio and PowerPoint presentation.
Audio only – podcast
The Pineapple Lounge
Head of Media Literacy Research
University of Sheffield
Insight & Innovation Consultant
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