Psychology 2012 ASSIGNMENT

Subject: Psychology / Abnormal Psychology
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Psychologists have warned for many years about the problems associated with school-age children watching too much television. More recently, however, the attention has shifted to the possible dangers associated with allowing infants to watch television. Some experts are specifically worried about DVDs and videos designed and marketed for infants. Many of these videos explicitly or implicitly claim to increase brain development, increase IQ, stimulate language development, etc. Research, however, has failed to show that early exposure to these videos has any positive effect on brain development or cognitive ability. In fact, in October of 2009, the Disney Company announced that it would begin offering refunds to parents who bought videos from the immensely popular “Baby Einstein” series. The refund was in response to parents who felt that the Baby Einstein videos had been falsely marketed as educational.

The concern over Baby Einstein and similar videos is not just that they do not boost cognitive development, but that exposing children to television at too early of an age may actually impair their development. Several studies have shown that infant television exposure is associated with a delay in language development. Additionally, there is some evidence that children who watch significant amounts of television as infants are at a higher risk to develop attention problems later in childhood. While most of these studies are correlational, they do suggest that infants’ exposure to television should be limited. This is a potentially serious problem, given that the average age infants began watching television in 2009 was 5 months!

1. Should infants be allowed to watch television.

2. Should television programs and videos designed for infants be banned, or should they be allowed as long as they do not claim to be beneficial?

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