The immediate impact of television cartoons and electronic games on Chinese preschoolers' executive function

[Speaker] Yang, Xiaohui:1
[Co-author] Wang, Zhenhong:1, Zhu, Liqi:2
1:Shaanxi Normal University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China (People's Republic of China))

This research examined the immediate influence of different types of television cartoons and electronic games on preschool-aged children's executive function. One hundred 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to one of the five groups: watching a fast paced television cartoon or an educational cartoon or playing an educational electronic game or an entertainment electronic game on ipad or painting with paper and pencil for 10 minutes. They were then given 5 tasks tapping executive function, including backward digit span, the Simon task, boy-girl Stroop task, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task and Tower of Hanoi tasks. Results showed that children who watched the television cartoon and played electronic games performed significantly worse on the executive function tasks than children in the control group (painting group), indicating that viewing television cartoons or play electronic games had immediate negative effects on 4-year-olds' executive function.
Keywords: preschoolers, television, electronic games, executive function
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