Electronics and language

Electronic toys are quite popular amongst the little ones. Their utilization is fairly recent. Could it be that they bring about negative consequences?

Anna V. Sosa, Ph.D. (Northern Arizona University) studied 26 parent-infant pairs with children who were 10-16 months of age.

Participants were given one of three sets of toys:

  • Electronic toys;
  • Traditional toys;
  • Five board books.

While playing with electronic toys there were fewer adult words used as well as fewer conversational turns with verbal back-and-forth and fewer parental responses. To add to it, there was less production of content-specific words than when playing with traditional toys or books.

Children also vocalized less while playing with electronic toys then with books.

It was also shown that parents produced fewer words during play with traditional toys than while playing with books with infants. To top it off, parents also used less content-specific words when playing with traditional toys with their infants than when playing with books.

Keep in mind that this study was done with a small sample size.

That being said, judging by the results of this study, one can wonder if innovation is necessarily always a good thing!


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