In the past 50 years substantial research has helped us better understand how the television has impacted our mental functions and specifically the cognitive development of children. In 1988 a Department of Education report, that analyzed all research at the time on the cognitive impact of cartoons, did not find clear evidence to suggest children’s television viewing effected cognitive functions (Anderson & Collins, 1988) In fact, there is some evidence that programs such as Sesame Street actually have a positive impact on things like vocabulary development (Rice, Huston, Truglio, & Wright, 1990) Delving further into the question of how television impacts children cognitively indicates that the real questions center on issues of content. Some programs, such as the aforementioned Sesame Street, have been positivity associated with cognitive development. While others, specifically, fast-paced cartoons, have negative associations.
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