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Study Blames Watching Popular Cartoons for Learning Deficiency Among Children

September 13, 2011

ibtimes.com

A U.S. study blamed popular cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants for learning problems among 4-year-old children.

The study had 60 children who were assigned to watch for 9 minutes SpongeBob or another PBS cartoon, Caillou, or to draw pictures. Mental functions tests were immediately administered on the tykes after their assigned tasks.

Those who viewed SpongeBob performed worse than the kids who belong to the two other groups in terms of concentration and solving logic puzzles.

Virginia psychologists who led the research explained the results to over taxation of young brains caused by the frequent change of settings typical in cartoon programs.

Despite the lesser time exposure of the children to the cartoons, the study suggested a link between cartoon viewing and long-term attention problem in children. A typical cartoon show runs for about 22 minutes, which could be more detrimental to young children, the researches opined.

“What kids watch matters, it’s not just how much they watch,” The Times of India quoted Dr. Dimitri Christakis, one of the researchers.

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