Cookie Monster Influence

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Childhood is the most vulnerable stage of human development, often being compared to the fragility of a newly planted seed. It requires consistent effort alongside the prevalence of certain conditions to establish positive maturation. This sheds lights on the plasticity of childhood development, opening up opportunities for growth and demonstrating the potential for both positive and negative influences. With this being said, these very influences have substantial impacts on one’s physical, intellectual, social and emotional progress (Cole, 2013). It is not surprising then, that developmental psychology has now, more than ever become a recognized field dedicated to understanding how biological and cultural influences combine to shape one’s…show more content…
Deborah L. Linebarger, a professor of education at the University of Iowa, conducted a study using episodes from Sesame Street to gain insight into child decision making after watching Cookie Monster (Syokos, 2014). Children were allowed to watch episodes with this popular Muppet, displaying acts of self-control, and were then given the Marshmallow Test, where “children were placed in front of a marshmallow and told they could get another treat if they wait a certain amount of time -- as long as they do not eat the first marshmallow” (Syokos, 2014). According to Linebarger, children who watched the Cookie Monster episode “were able to wait more than four minutes longer during the Marshmallow Test than those who did not watch the clip” (Syokos, 2014). This touches on the child’s cognitive abilities alongside social adherence because when asked to share their cookie, children who watched Cookie Monster were more likely to do so (Syokos, 2014). These results demonstrate the role of observational learning as a key factor in learning without direct experience (Myers, 2013). The child who waited longer observed the behaviors of cookie monster and imitated them in the study through modeling. After continued tests, Linebarger concluded that educational programs such as Sesame Street portray positive social skills such as inhibition and self-control that stimulate a child’s mirror neurons to positively act accordingly (Myers,
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