Does television viewing affect children’s cognitive development?

The extract

Below is a short piece of text (adapted from Carlson, Buskist and Martin, 2000, Psychology the Science of Behaviour, pp 412-413).  Read through the text, and then answer the questions below.  Some ideas about the answers are given on the following page.

some of which depend on social background.  However, almost all children in industrialised societies are exposed to television for several hours a day.  What effect does this have on their cognitive development?

Proponents of television for children include Bogatz and Ball (1972), who found that children from all socio-economic backgrounds who watched Sesame Street developed better vocabularies, better attitudes towards school and more positive attitudes to children of other races than children who did not watch Sesame Street.

On the other hand, many television programmes are full of violence, and watching them may well promote aggressiveness and impatience in children.  In addition, commercials may encourage children to demand particular snack foods, toys and other items from parents (Taras et al., 1989)…

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