Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Make Your Kids Stupid or Give Them a Canadian Accent: Your Call

By now you've probably heard about the study that faulted "SpongeBob SquarePants" and other frenetic kids' shows for making it difficult for children to concentrate.

From NPR's health blog:
Researchers say that that the cartoon's fast-based scenes may make it harder for young children to pay attention and think.
The researchers, psychologists Angeline Lillard and Jennifer Peterson of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, didn't measure if the problems with attention and executive function lasted. But they did compare the SpongeBob watchers to 20 children who watched Caillou, a slower-paced PBS show that features a sweet yet whiny preschooler. Another 20 colored for 9 minutes.
The kids who watched SpongeBob, which changed scenes every 11 seconds, did significantly worse on the tests than either the children who colored, or those who watched educational TV. Caillou changed scenes every 34 seconds.
We all know my prejudices against "Caillou." But it's worth noting that the show doesn't change scenes very often because it has TERRIBLE PRODUCTION VALUES.

Do I need to remind you: The animators can't even be bothered to fill in the entire frame!

It's also a surefire way to saddle your kid with a Canadian rising.