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Research at St Andrews

Social learning from media: the need for a culturally diachronic developmental psychology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Author(s)

Mark Nielsen, Frankie T.K. Fong, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Since the proliferation of television sets into households began over half a century ago there has been widespread interest in the impact that viewing has on young children's development. Such interest has grown with the increasing availability of smart phones and tablets. In this review we examine the literature documenting human social learning and how this learning is impacted when the instructing agent appears on a screen instead of face-to-face. We then explore the shifting nature of screen-based media, with a focus on the increasingly socio-normative manner information is portrayed. We discuss how the changing nature of screen technology might be altering how children interpret what they see, and raise the possibility that this may render prevailing evidence as historical documentation, rather than setting out established developmental milestones that transcend the period in which they were documented. We contend that recognizing the significance of historically changing contexts in developmental psychology is timely when the COVID-19 climate is pushing data collection on-line for many labs, often using tasks that were developed primarily for face-to-face contexts.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
PublisherJAI Press
ISBN (Print)0065-2407
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • Social learning, Overimitation, Social constructivism, Video deficit

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