Naomi Aguiar, PhD (Assistant Director of Research, Oregon State University (Ecampus)), discusses research into young children’s parasocial/emotional attachments to media characters at the #AskTheExperts webinar “Zero to Five: Eeny, Meeny, Mighty Tech” on February 9, 2022.
[Dr. Naomi Aguiar]: They also feel as though they have an attachment to these characters, and by attachment what we mean is they feel bonded emotionally. They feel a sense of comfort, safety and security in interacting with these media characters. And they also feel a sense of trust. And the trust is the importance, the key linchpin to thinking about, “Well, what are the real world consequences of these imaginary relationships?” So it turns out what we’ve learned from research with preschool-age children and toddlers is that children are more likely to learn from video and they’re more likely to learn from video games if they’re already familiar with a character who’s scaffolding the lessons in those games.
View the full webinar
What happens to the foundational cognitive, psychosocial, emotional and physical developmental needs during the critical first five years that may be challenged or enhanced by media?
Devorah Heitner, PhD
Vicki Harrison, MSW
Susan F. Tapert, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair; Associate Director and Site PI, ABCD; Co-Director and Site PI, NCANDA; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant
Sheri Madigan, PhD
Associate Professor; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant
Stephanie Reich, PhD
Professor; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant