Programming and Commercial Effects on Children

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Programming and Commercial Effects on Children
Thomas Ralston
COM/156
February 25th, 2012
Jeanette Burghardt

Programming and Commercial Effects on Children
Many parents are not aware that commercial programming can have the same effect on child's cognitive learning as the programming the children are watching. The Merriman-Webster (2012) dictionary defines cognitive as, "Of relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)." Research has been done on children's programming as well as commercial television to show the effects on today's youth. Even though suggestive adult humor can be found in children's programming, the impact commercials have toward children is just as important to watch. Television can provide opportunity for children to learn however it should not be a teacher or babysitter for today's youth. Questions like, "If a program is scheduled at all hours of the day and into the night, does this make it appropriate for younger children to watch?" should be just one of the many parents should ask when allowing children to watch specific television programming. Intentional or not, programmers use television to influence today's youth. With today's ability to view children's programming on a multitude of different stations and different channels for each station, it is amazing on how much of today's programming for young children have hidden layers of adult humor. Television writers put subtle instances of adult humor in to children's programming which allows for them to draw in ratings from a wider range of viewers. Rice (2009) conducted a study on popular children's cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants in which it states the show is directed toward an age group of approximately 2 to 11 year olds, however research shows that it has a variety of audiences in all age groups. Nearly a quarter (22%) of the viewers ranged from ages 18 to 49. Along with this research, Rice also notes on the...
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