Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/12/2011 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Very popular fantastical cartoon about an animated sponge that lives under the sea' found to have negative effect on children's concentration

Is "SpongeBob Squarepants," a "very popular fantastical cartoon about an animated sponge that lives under the sea," as described by researchers, bad for your children? The fast-paced cartoon series has been known to grate on the nerves of parents, but now psychologists now say that the cartoon appears to dampen preschoolers brain power.

'Connecting fast-paced television viewing to deficits in executive function ... has profound impacts for children's cognitive and social development that need to be considered and reacted to,'  researchers said about 'SpongeBob Squarepants.'

"Connecting fast-paced television viewing to deficits in executive function ... has profound impacts for children's cognitive and social development that need to be considered and reacted to," researchers said about "SpongeBob Squarepants."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/12/2011 (5 years ago)

Published in TV

Keywords: SpongeBob Squarepants, concentration skills, children, cartoon


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Both Angeline Lillard and Jennifer Peterson, both of the University of Virginia's department of psychology, conducted a series of tests to see if the cartoon had a detrimental effect on children's attention, working memory, problem solving and delay of gratification -- skills that are important with success in school.

While television's negative effect on executive function over the long term has been established - in particular shows that are hyper-edited, extremely fast-paced and are loud -- less is known about its immediate effects.

In the study, Lillard and Peterson assigned 60 4-year-olds to three groups: one that watched nine minutes of "SpongeBob;" one that watched nine minutes of slower-paced programming from a PBS show "about a typical U.S. preschool-aged boy;" and a third group that was told to draw for nine minutes with markers and crayons.

After their viewing and drawing tasks were complete, the children were asked to perform four tests to assess executive function. 

The kids who watched nine minutes of the frenetic high jinks of the "animated sponge" scored significantly worse than the other kids.

"Connecting fast-paced television viewing to deficits in executive function ... has profound impacts for children's cognitive and social development that need to be considered and reacted to," University of Washington pediatrics professor Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis wrote.

There are dissenting voices to the study. Nickelodeon, the network that airs "SpongeBob SquarePants," told CNN that "having 60 non-diverse kids, who are not part of the show's targeted demo, watch 9 minutes of programming is questionable methodology. It could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust."

Nickelodeon also noted that "SpongeBob" is intended to be viewed by kids ages 6 to 11 -- and not by preschoolers.

It wasn't the first time the SpongeBob character has prompted controversy. The cartoon had previously been accused of promoting homosexuality, as the series was popular with the gay community due to "secret coding." As one gay fan declared about SpongeBob, "he's not very masculine for a male character. And he's soft."

Of course, many others think the very stereotyped effort to identify SpongeBob as gay is absurd.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More TV

Defying abortion one life at a time - New pro-life show attempts to change abortion culture Watch

Image of New pro-life show to air on EWTN.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The EWTN Global Catholic Network has joined the Susan B. Anthony List to create a half-hour weekly program titled "EWTN Pro-Life Weekly." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catherine Szeltner, a former correspondent of EWTN News Nightly, will be the show's host.During ... continue reading


Should the rich be made to pay their fair share? Let's starts with the nine MSNBC pundits with tax liens Watch

Image of Al Sharpton owes a lot of taxes to you. But you'd better pay your fair share.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

MSNBC is what you watch if you enjoy hearing how the rich need to pay their fair share. But if you want to see the rich who need to pay their fair share, turn on MSNBC. Nine of MSNBC's pundits had tax liens filed against them. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


Spiritual warfare, Heaven and unity - Three new shows for the Catholic viewer Watch

Image of Will YOU tune in?

By Nikki Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Television networks are picking up on the fact audiences around the world are interested in religious entertainment - but what kind of shows are worthy of an audience? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The three religious and spiritually-themed shows coming to a ... continue reading


'I want it to sound like the Bible': The real story behind Henson's puppet nativity show Watch

Image of Jane Henson is bringing the Nativity story to life (Jane Henson's Nativity Story/Facebook).

By Mary Rezac (CNA/EWTN News)

Most people know Jim Henson as the man who brought the world the beloved comedic puppet characters known as the Muppets: Kermit the Frog, his on-again, off-again diva girlfriend Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Big Bird, to name just a few. Denver, CO (CNA/EWTN News) - But ... continue reading


'Star Trek proposed a true model of cooperation' - Vatican hails show a model of peace Watch

Image of Vatican talks Star Trek.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano honored Star Trek's 50th anniversary on September 8, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The famous show has been translated into comic books, artwork, several films, remakes and more.After fifty years of touching global ... continue reading


Terrifying exorcisms become storyline for new television series Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The latest television portrayal of exorcisms will hit Fox network on September 23. Determined to provide an authentic portrayal of exorcisms, 'The Exorcist' team attempted to reach out to the Catholic church and hear from "real-life exorcists." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Groundbreaking series offers an intimate look at the lives of young men and women born with Down Syndrome Watch

Image of

By A&E

A&E Network's critically acclaimed and award-winning original docuseries "Born This Way" returns for a second season featuring 10 brand-new episodes on Tuesday, July 26 at 10 PM ET/PT.  NEW YORK, NY - June 21, 2016  Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the ... continue reading


WATCH NOW: SNL skit critically targets Christian, Jewish and homosexual communities all in one video Watch

Image of A recent SNL skit promoted stereotypical views of Christianity, Jews and homosexuals in the name of humor (SNL/YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In their latest controversial skit, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" makes fun of newly released faith-based film "God is Not Dead 2." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The skit, titled "God is a Boob Man" makes light of Sweet Cakes owner Melissa Klein, who refused to ... continue reading


Big networks moving online, but Catholic Online's already there for you Watch

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hollywood is leaving the small screen for the smaller screen, and consumers are thrilled. As more people give up hours in front of the classic boob-tube, and turn to portable media, networks are following suit. Most recently, CBS announced it will be moving more ... continue reading


Netflix secret codes REVEALED -- Find any movie with one simple step Watch

Image of A coded list of millions of movies on Netflix - and their specialized genres, is included in this article!

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

You have some time to yourself this weekend and the Netflix and its myriad movies is calling. Are you in the mood for some Anime science-fiction? A film based on a popular children's book? Maybe some spy action adventure? Never fear, a coded list of millions of ... continue reading


All TV News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 8:23--9:3
23 For is not everything dark as night for a country in distress? As the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:12-23
12 Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 22nd, 2017 Image

St. Vincent Pallotti
January 22: St. Vincent Pallotti, Priest (Feast - January 22) ... Read More