August 21, 2011

All is not well that ends well

Most people are not surprised to hear there is a correlation between violent programs and violent children. Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman illustrates a surprising correlation: the strong correlation between kids who watched "good" children's programming and violence in those children. The correlation of these shows were not as bad as the violent shows, but they were surprisingly close. Good shows were almost as bad as violent shows.

When the researchers dissected the programs, they discovered large amounts of insults and violent behavior. Bad AND good programs both use violent behavior to help "set up" the conflict so they could ultimately teach a lesson. Continue through the show and you will fine the majority of the show demonstrated the conflict while a smaller portion was devoted to resolving the issue. Looming behind the eventual positive resolution is the bulk of time devoted to negative behavior to "set the scene". (Large assumption: kids watched the show to the end where the resolution and most of the positive events occurred.)

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