Study Reveals SpongeBob Will Rot Your Brain
The initial results showed that the kids who watched SpongeBob performed worse on all the tests. This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the quality of SpongeBob. The researchers are more concerned about the pacing and feature differences between the two shows. Specifically, SpongeBob would change scenes every 11 seconds, with lots of frenetic movement in between, whereas Caillou changed scenes every 34 seconds and was more “naturally” paced.
The fact of the matter is that cartoons and children’s shows in general have become faster-paced throughout the years, and children are watching television at a much earlier age than when cartoons first started airing 30+ years ago. The average age a child begins watching television has decreased from 4 years to 4 months, according to Dimitri Christakis of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute at the University of Washington. In a study that was published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Christakis found that more time spent watching television can potentially lead to language and social development problems in children. Now this study by Lillard will add that the kind of television being watched can also impair self-control, focus, and concentration.
For now, the results of the study are preliminary and the researchers aren’t drawing too many conclusions from the data. A larger group and wider age of children are needed for studying, as well as more variety in the television shows, with more standardized inputs and measurable results. One thing that all researchers in this area of study agree on is that a child’s television intake should be monitored and minimized. Curses! Science 2, Cartoons 0.