The effect of plot explicit, educational explicit, and implicit inference information and coviewing on children's internal and external cognitive processing

Justin Robert Keene, Eric E. Rasmussen, Collin K. Berke, Rebecca L. Densley, Travis Loof, Robyn B. Adams, Gregory H. Mumma, Andrew Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parental coviewing–the act of being present when a child is watching television–can influence the child’s cognitive processing and emotional reactions. This study investigated the role coviewing has on the child’s cognitive processing–which is evidenced by the phasic psychophysiological orienting response to three types of information: plot explicit, educational explicit, and implicit inference. An experiment was conducted that measured the heart rate of children (N = 88; mean age = 9.12 years) while watching messages either with or without a parent present in the room. It was predicted, and found, that coviewing leads to greater resource allocation to encoding the message–as indicated by phasic cardiac deceleration, and that information that required internal processing, such as plot explicit or implicit inferential content, leads to greater resources allocated to internal processing–as indicated by phasic cardiac acceleration. Implications for parental mediation strategies and educational television programming are given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-174
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Keywords

  • Coviewing
  • children and media
  • cognitive processing
  • educational content
  • psychophysiology

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