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The purpose of the present research was to study how children under stand scenes of social interaction that are portrayed on television and how their understanding changes as a function of age and cognitive development. Measures were obtained from children's spontaneous reconstructions of television scenes and also from their responses to a series of specific questions regarding the thoughts and feelings of particular television characters. It was found that younger and less cognitively mature viewers were more likely to structure televised social content in terms of overt descriptive features, action, and literal repetition of dialogue. Older children and adolescents were more likely to consider the inferential aspects of social interaction and to offer interpretations based on people's psychological qualities.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1982.10.2.133

Publication date: January 1, 1982

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