Repetition Increases Children's Comprehension of Television Content—Up to a Point
Two studies examined the effects of repeated viewing on children's comprehension of videos. In Study 1, 72 children aged 6–8 watched The Sword in the Stone. Afterwards, children who had seen the film before were compared with those for whom the film was novel. In Study 2, 291 children aged 4–8, watched one of two versions of a short story in which the main character's appearance was incongruous with her behavior. Children were tested after one or four exposures. Results of both studies indicated that repetition reduced initial developmental differences in comprehension and helped younger children inhibit the perceptual salience of characters' appearance. However, children's understanding of the more complex causal sequences and the moral of the film in Study 1 remained low, despite prior exposure.