Blogging NYT: TV Background Noise Disrupts Child Play

Blogging NYT: TV Background Noise Disrupts Child Play

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Carrie McBride
Aug 5, 2008

You may be strict about not letting your young children watch television, but you might be surprised to learn that even the background noise of tv can affect your child's ability to focus.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts observed young children playing in their lab - half the time while an adult tv program (in this case, Jeopardy) played in the background and half the time without it. The children showed little interest in the television program, but their play was disrupted by the "ever-changing audiovisual distractor'' of the tv noise. They had difficulty sustaining focused play and tended to play with each toy for shorter amounts of time.

We wonder if the same can be said for the radio. We're not quite ready to give up NPR.

Read more here.

(Photo by Michael Temchine for The New York Times)

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