A Study of the Effect of Television on Mental Tasks


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  • テレビ視聴の精神作業に及ぼす影響に関する研究
  • テレビ シチョウ ノ セイシン サギョウ ニ オヨボス エイキョウ ニ カンスル ケンキュウ

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1.Purpose The following purpose and hypotheses were established. Purpose: To investigate the effects of TV viewing upon both simple and complex mental tasks. Working Hypotheses: (1) TV viewing will not effect simple mental tasks but will show a minus effect upon complex mental tasks. (2) Because NHK's research showed that TV viewing did lower eye focusing ability, there will be a minus effect upon such simple mental tasks as "dots counting" which involves extensive use of the eyes. 2. Method Subjects were 70 elementary school fourth grade students and 79 middle school second year students, a total of 149. They were divided into TV viewing and control groups. For the first 20 minutes subjects in all four groups were given a mental test (Test B). Afterwards the TV viewing group watched VTR programs for one hour and 20 minutes. The control group was subjected to normal classroom activities for the same length of time,, Immediately afterwards both groups were given a second mental test (Test A), which also took 20 minutes. The simple mental tests consisted of exercises in dots counting and multiplication and the complex mental tests consisted of exercises in plate matching, memorization and reasoning. 3. Results In comparing the TV viewing and control groups on each test for both the elementary and middle school students; there were significant differences found only for middle school students in correctness of dots counting and correctness of memorization. No other differences were significant. However, in the case of the middle school students the control group received higher scores than the TV viewing group, on the contrary the elementary school student TV viewing group was higher than their control. The middle school students' results were consistant with the working hypotheses, however the elementary school students showed the opposite results. Although variance analyses of the results of the other tests showed significant relationships between the experimental and control groups and the subjects' school level. There was a tendency for the middle school control group and the elementary school experimental group to do better than their counterparts. The reasons for this are as follows: One, the subjects can be thought of as being on either side of the "turning point" of media behavior. According to Dr. Furu, before the "turning point", children want to watch a great many things out of curiosity. During this period TV viewing stimulates their fantasies, and daydreaming itself is enjoyable. However after the "turning point" is passed, TV viewing is used as an escape from reality. Therefore TV viewing is much more active before the "turning point" than it is after it. Two, compared with 2nd year middle school students, 4th year elementary school students have had fewer life and study experiences in the maintaining of attention and strain. Therefore there is a difference in their psychological maturity* Studies involving attention and strain reach the saturation point much more quickly for younger students. The above differences between 4th year elementary and 2nd year middle school students can be thought of as factors which might have brought about the contradicting results between the TV viewing and control groups.



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