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Cartoons Are Appropriate For The Development of Children’s Narrative Skills and Values

The Department of Evolutionary Psychology and Education of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) Faculty of Education, Philosophy and Anthropology investigated the media consumption of 8-12-year-old children.

The research was conducted in various phases divided into two subcategories.
Firstly, the use that schoolchildren make of various devices, the Internet in particular, as well as the support and control strategies used by their parents, the positive and negative conceptions parents have about the use, difficulties and challenges they face when mediating in their use were identified...
Secondly, various tests were conducted to delve further into the interpretation and decoding that the schoolchildren carry out on the messages transmitted by the fictional content of the cartoons. These tests revealed that the type of narrative or non-narrative structure that characterises the cartoons affects the reception, processing, comprehension, memory and what the messages conjure up, in terms of narrative skills and perception of values/countervalues, of 8-12-year-old children…

Using the cartoons Doraemon for the narrative structure and Code Lyoko for the non-narrative, here is what the researchers found.

After displaying the cartoons, "we asked the schoolchildren to tell us what they remembered from what they had seen, and that way we analysed their narrative skills as well as the values and countervalues they had perceived," added Oregui, who was responsible for the research. The accounts by the schoolchildren who had watched the cartoons with a narrative structure were much longer and more detailed and the values and countervalues were perceived effortlessly. In the case of the non-narrative ones, however, the accounts were very short, they had been altered, and focus was placed almost exclusively on the sequences of the action; the children also experienced greater difficulty perceiving the values and countervalues of the subject matter".

Children can also grasp easier the values or countervalues that they see on narrative cartoons, compared to non-narrative ones.

See more on EurekAlert.

(Image Credit: UPV/EHU)

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Probably helps their vocabulary and social skills. With everything there's always cons tho. I would imagine that cartoons also create unrealistic expectations. A child (for many years) watches characters go on adventures (often with superpowers or always coming out unscathed). And the characters don't have to work at taco bell or go through an abortion. I imagine kids go through a ton of cognitive dissonance once they hit adulthood (because of cartoons).
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