The Attention of 2-year-old Children to Television


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  • 2歳児におけるテレビへの注視行動 : 2歳児テレビ番組研究,報告XI 低年齢幼児のテレビへの注視行動の分析


<p>The Research Project which consists of the production staff of NHK's preschoolers's TV series "Okaasan to Issho (With Mother)," researchers of the NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute and university professors has undertaken multi-faceted efforts to study and develop new TV programs for small children, especially for 2-year-olds since 1978. One of the main purposes of our study in 1986 was to develop a new animation series, whose target audience could be 2-year-old children, as a part of "With Mother." The main character in the animation should represent a typical personality or behavioral style among small children such as untidy or bully child and this characteristic should be clearly brought out during the minute-or-two duration of the story. The purpose of this series is to let small children learn a lesson from this by watching the television which is continuously depicting a character behaving just like themselves. An experiment was conducted in March 1986 to examine the degree of attention and understanding of the two experimental animation programs, "Yadamon (the Hard-to-Please Child)" and "Tazura (the Mischievous Child)" by small children; 50 2-year-olds and 46 4 -year-olds. The experiment was conducted on each child with his (her) mother present in a viewing room, and each child watching TV was videotaped from two cameras. The following reactions were recorded second by second by using a Time Series Analyzer: attention reaction to the experimental programs, language reaction and smile reaction. After the child watched the experimental programs, a researcher asked the child several questions to analyze the child's understanding of the story: recognizing the main character, spontaneous recall of the program content, recalling sequences with photographs, etc. The attention rating of "Yadamon" and "Tazura" was high from the beginning till the end for both the 2-and 4-year-olds; however, results of the test after viewing showed that story seemed a little difficult especially for 2-year-olds. Further surveys were conducted successively in November 1986 and February 1987, to find out if 2-year-olds could really enjoy and get the message after several-month-repeatedly viewing, from this new animation series, which was finally entitled "Konna ko iru kana (Kids Like Us)"-six characters (including revised "Yadamon" and "Tazura") × six stories-and broadcast since September 1986. Another main purposes of the experiment in 1986 was to compare the reactions of small Japanese children watching the original English version of "Sesame Street" and the one dubbed in Japanese. The experiment was conducted under the same procedures already described. After discussing several skits used in "Sesame Street" which had been sent from Children's Television Workshop, we selected a 2-minute-30-second muppet skit, 'At the Movie Theater.' Our assumption was that small children who have not yet learned enough Japanese would pay attention to both English and Japanese versions of the program equally, but those who are more advanced in Japanese would show a higher attention rating to the Japanese version. The attention rating for both the 2-and 4-year-olds for the Japanese and English versions has a similar curve. The attention rating for the climax rises with every age bracket watching Japanese version, whereas their attention rating for the English version decreases. With the 4-year-olds, there is a big difference in the attention rating between the English and Japanese versions in sequences where the important dialogue for understanding of the story 'At the Movie Theater' is concentrated. The countries of the world have high hopes for top quality children's programs and more and more effort will be put into international co-productions</p><p>(View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)</p>



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