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Chapter 17

PSYC2450 Chapter 17: Chapter 17.docx

Course Code
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

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Chapter 17
Extrafamilial influences: Television, Computers, Schools,
and peers
Effects of television on child development:
98% of Canadian homes have one or more tv sets
Children ages 2-11 watch an average of 15.3 hours watching tv a week
By age 18 a child will have spent 20 000 hours, or two full years watching tv
Boys watch more tv than girls
Television literacy: a person’s ability to understand how information is conveyed on TV.
The ability to process program content so that we can construct a story line.
Violent tv shows play a significantly negative effect on childrens development
Mean world beliefs: a tendency to view the world as a violet place inhabited by people
who typically rely on aggressive solutions to their interpersonal problems
Desensitization hypothesis: the notion that people who watch a lot of media violence will
become less aroused by aggression and more tolerant of violent and aggressive acts
The ways men and women are portrayed on television can have very real
implications for viewers self-concept and self-esteem.
Evidence is limited but it seems that childrens ethical and racial attitudes are
influenced by television portrayals of minority groups
Television viewing and childrens health
Obese: a medial term describing individuals who are at least 20% above their ideal
height, age, and sex
One of the biggest predictors of child obesity is how much tv the child watch’s
Reducing the harmful effects of television exposure
Have parents monitor how much tv their child watch’s
Evaluate what they are watching, make sure the programs are not violent
Deal with the effects of TV advertising
Television as an Educational Tool
Many TV shows that help in the development of children because of their
educational aspects

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Contributes to cognitive development
For example “sesame street” is targeted to 2-4 year olds, and their cognitive
development (reading, counting, letters)
Regular watchers of sesame street showed impressive gains in the children’s
alphabet and writing skills
Computers are now widely accessible in most classrooms and schools
Computers have many benefits to learning
Computer-assisted instruction (CAI): use of computers to teach new concepts and
precise academic skills
Help children to increase their likelihood of editing and polishing their work in
the future
Helps children to organize their thoughts into more coherent essays
Can foster mastery motivation and self-efficacy
Promotes novel modes of thinking that are unlikely to emerge from computer-
assisted academic drills
- Students who used computer in class are:
1. Likely to seek collaborative solutions to the challenges they face
2. More inclined to persist after experiencing problems when they are collaborating
with a peer
Computers promote rather then impede peer interactions
Internet benefits:
Internet access at home is essential for students to complete homework
The more times teenagers logged into the internet at home, the better their scores
were on a standardized reading test six months later (experiment done by Linda
98% of adolescents use the internet at least once a week
61% log on daily
Used widely for health information – perceived as useful and trustworthy
Video games are always a concern of parents
80% of adolescents in BC play video games at least occasionally
50% less then three hours a week
25% spent 3-7 hours a week playing video games
Some critics believe computers will leave certain groups of students behind,
lacking in skills required in our increasingly computer-dependent society
More women/females are becoming interested in computers as the gender gap
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