Thanks are extended to Chris Breen, Susan Brooks, Jamie Germond, Ken Getz, Janet Ferber-Goff, Joel Gold, Suzanne Kelly, Ron Miyatake, Jon Ouellette, Emily Peebles-Seibert, Sherry Randall, Melissa Thompson, Claire VanOgtrap, Lauri Wing, and the staff and children of the University of Maine's Children's Center for their help with this project. Thanks are also extended to three anonymous reviewers, whose questions helped shape the final form of this article.
Young Children and Television: The Retention of Emotional Reactions
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 63, Issue 6, pages 1423–1436, December 1992
How to Cite
Hayes, D. S. and Casey, D. M. (1992), Young Children and Television: The Retention of Emotional Reactions. Child Development, 63: 1423–1436. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1992.tb01705.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
In 6 experiments, we examined preschoolers' ability to interpret or remember the affective reactions of television characters. In 2 studies, children viewed a “Sesame Street” or “Cosby Show” segment, and then retold the story. In both, mention of the protogonists' affective states was low, with less than 1% of the reactions recalled. In 3 experiments (using muppet, cartoon, or human portrayals), we examined whether this low retention was due to an inability to interpret reactions, identify their emotional labels, or remember them across a short period. For muppet and cartoon shows, children accurately recognized labels for reactions immediately after portrayal, but showed significant reductions in recognition memory by the end of the show. For human portrayals, subjects showed accurate recognition immediately after presentation, as well as after the show. In a final experiment, free descriptions of the reactions were assessed. Correct description was significantly higher for basic emotions than complex emotions.