IBA Archive at Bournemouth University

Documents | Reports

Effect of Television on Children Jan 1960 – Dec 1967

Document Information

File: 3075

Box: 3995524

Summary of Document

This is a mixed file of correspondence, reports and clippings which date between 2/6/1960-4/7/1967. The file contains an ITA paper entitled “What Children Watch” written by Miss Choyce (8/12/1961). The first paragraph discusses the intellectual progress and daily activities conducted by a 10 year old child. Choyce states that the Granada survey showed that 1 in 3 would be watching television until 9.30pm. She urges the committee to look into what children would be seeing watching television at this time of evening. She highlights that professional boxing is broadcast at this time, along with westerns, and topical comedies and current affairs programmes.

The file also contains a journal article with the title “Imitation of Film-Meditated Aggressive Models” from the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 1966 No.1 pp3-11. In this collaborative article the authors discuss the experiments conducted that may indicate that children who are exposed to film mediated aggressive models are more prone to aggressive behavior. The experiments portrayed life models of aggression, film aggression and cartoon aggression. The findings also revealed that results are affected by the sex of the model.

Additionally the file contains a report on television and the secondary modern school child, dated 1962-1963. The report summarises a sociological inquiry into the changing patterns of television viewing of children in 8 schools. The report sets out its methodology and results. The study is very thorough as it considers viewing peak hours alongside signs of addiction, selective viewing, whether children view critically, and children’s feelings regarding advertising. The report is a mixture of written prose and statistics. The report predicted that the pattern of viewing would change in children during the first four years of secondary school, but this was not the case. Results did show a decline in parental influence. The report indicates further research is needed in order to come to definite and reliable conclusions.

There are also press clippings in this file, including a press reaction to ABC’s experiment in Children’s viewing. This is from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph in April 1963. Images show the reactions of children to certain scenes they were shown. Examples include a kiss and horror. The experiment was in a candid camera style where pictures were taken as the children were watching.

Another paper includes “The Relation of Research to the Planning and Production of Television Programmes” written by a reader of social psychology. This was presented at the international seminar on television in Munich (Oct 1963). It highlights that children spent more time watching television than any other activity, as it does not demand active participation. It goes on to discuss television audience reception within children and how children should be encouraged to verbalise their experience.

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