The relationship of visual attention to children's comprehension of television.

E. P. Lorch, D. R. Anderson, S. R. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


The study experimentally tested the relationship between visual attention and comprehension of a TV program. 72 5-year-old children watched a 40-min version of the TV program "Sesame Street." Half the children viewed the program in the presence of a variety of toys and half viewed without toys. The children were then tested for their comprehension of the program. Although visual attention to the TV in the no-toys group was nearly twice that in the toys group, there was no difference between the groups in comprehension. There were, nevertheless, significant within-group correlations between visual attention and comprehension even for questions concerning only auditorily presented material. The results were interpreted as indicating that in a normal TV viewing setting, variations in the comprehensibility of the TV program may determine variations in children's attention to the TV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-727
Number of pages6
JournalChild Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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