Does SpongeBob make kids stupid?

Watching nine minutes of SpongeBob Squarepants can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds, concludes a new study published in Pediatrics. Children who drew pictures or watched a slower-paced PBS cartoon, Caillou, outperformed SpongeBob watchers on tests of mental functions.

It’s not just SpongeBob. Watching other fast-paced cartoons makes it harder for young children to pay attention or learn immediately afterward, said Angeline Lillard, a University of Virginia psychology professor Angeline Lillard and lead author of the study.

The anti-Mozart effect?

 

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