Entertainment

Study says SpongeBob makes kids stupid

According to a recent study led by a research team from the University of Virginia, watching the SpongeBob Square Pants cartoons makes preschool kids stupid. After only 9 minutes of watching the animation, the children could not perform a series of tasks which were very easy to do by children who were not exposed to SpongeBob’s influence.
Scientists demonstrate once again that you are what you eat, read or watch. Apparently, cartoons with stupid characters lead to the migration of stupidity to the brains of the watchers. In this case, the popular animation character SpongeBob is to blame.

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a child development specialist at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Prof. Angelina Lillard, from the University of Virginia, led a small study in which they wanted to find out what impact the cartoon has on preschoolers. The study was conducted on 60 children, 4 years of age, chose randomly, who did not have any mental or developmental issues.  The children were divided into two groups. One group watched a SpongeBob episode and the other watched Caillou (a Canadian cartoon in which a grandmother reads stories to her grandkids). After watching the cartoons, all the children were given a series of mental function tests, which implied learning and attention skills. Those who had been watching SpongeBob did significantly worse than the others.
 
Although the group of participants is not large enough and further studies must be made, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, who wrote the editorial which accompanied the study, believes that “what kids watch matters”. He says that there might be a worsening of the effects if the cartoon is watched more than 9 minutes, but “it’s not just how much they watch”.

Nickelodeon jumped into the defense of SpongeBob saying that the cartoon is not meant for 4-year-olds, but for children with ages ranging from 6 to 11. David Bittler, the spokesman for the network, states that the study has mixed up the age range and the cartoon (which do not match) and so it “could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust.”

One thing is for sure. Both the doctors and the Nickelodeon network said that SpongeBob is not suited for preschoolers. So it might be better if your four-year-old, or five-year-old watched other cartoons.

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Ronald Silva is one of our newest publishers.He currently lives in Toronto (Canada) with his family.Ronald covers the music and sports sections of DailyGossip.org. Over the past few years, Ronald has participated in various journalistic projects including some of which he started when he worked for a local newspaper in Toronto. Contact him at Ronald.Silva@dailygossip.org.

18 Comments

  1. Spongebob is not bad for kids. Those 4 year olds didn’t perform as well because they were only thinking about how great of a show spongebob is. The ones watching Caillou, which happens to be the most boring show ever, were not thinking about the show they watched because of how lame it was.

  2. Whats stupid, is this study. My child watches spongebob, age 4, and hes still smart after he watches the show. If this were even remotely true have of the population would be retarded.

  3. Wow. Half of you can’t spell. This show is idiotic. It has no educational purpose. It’s two stupid adults running around cheating, lying, cursing and stealing. Yes I can name an episode for every example. It teaches greed, hate and friendship. Is that REALLY what you want your kids watching and learning?? Caillou is educational. You may not like it but it’s teaches children morals, colors, and equality. Don’t judge something before you try it. One of the messages from that show. Spongebob should be burned at the stake.

  4. I’m writing a persuasive assay on how the media affects children’s ideas of reality, I was hoping that this would work for it. But I was just thinking… now I’m not sure if it’s the right direction for my essay.

  5. Spongebob is a good show, yes. its just not good for 4 years of age and under to be watching. and how do you know your kid is still smart after watching have you tested him…i doubt it. And it seems like almost half (not have) of America population is retarded….most of Americans have ADHD

  6. Guy above me, *you’re* and also I watched spongebob for a very long time when I was younger. I never watched it when i was 3 but i believe I started when I was 6. I think that it is a funny show and yes very immature but it is for immature people. The point is I think spongebob is ok in moderation not if your child watches it for like 3 hours a day that’s just crazy. MODERATION is th key 🙂

  7. Ur kidding me rite? Spongebob is amazing! Ive watched it my entire life, me and my friends still do! I happen to get all a’s and b’s. No c’s, d’s, or f’s. It doesnt make you stupid unless you have serious mental issues and take it seriously. Its for the sake of entertainment!! Only and idiot would take your garbage seriously. Like i said, ENTERTAINMENT!!!! Sea creatures dont talk, squirrels dont live underwaters, and crabs dont live in anchors! If u actually believe this s*** then u obviously have never heard of the word gossip (which is in this websites name!) or rumors. Get over it!

  8. Spongebob may look pointless but in almost every episode there is a lesson… the episode where SB met sandy…he bragged that he loved water but he really can’t live in it so he ended up punishing himself.The part where squidward tried to blow bubbles… he bragged so much that it turned out that the bubble he made would bring him trouble.

    SEE? (try in other episodes)

  9. – . – I grew up watching, the Justice League, Dexter, Batman,Hey Arnold,Rugrats etc. Spongebob may not compare to these cartoons that have wonderful morals…but it isn’t such a horrible show either. I enjoy watching Spongebob. It teaches a lot actually. Spongebob is always positive and determined no matter what situation. Plus he never gives up. It teaches friendship and companionship.
    DID ANY OF YOU KNOW THAT SPONGEBOB IS AN ADULT Show???
    Well it is, look it up.

  10. i don’t like spongebob and it does make young kids stupid plus it is an adult show and Jean just because he’s not stupid does not mean it didn’t affect his learning abilities. i have a story that shows that it affects even older kids 2, my friend was over at her friends house her brother was watching spongebob and there was a marathon on and after watching it a while she forgot her own name, and shes like 13 years old. so yes it does affect the brain no matter the age.

  11. there is no real lesson in spongebob i you think there is fine but SPONGEBOB IS AN ADULT Show it has SO much adult humor that i don’t think even 6 year old should be watching it. it teches them that thing that are wrong are okay and other things that are not true so mabey it should be for just older kids

  12. spongebob is ok in moderation not if your child watches it for like 3 hours a day. oh and Athena even though you got a’s and b’s in first grade mabey second that doesn’t mean it didn’t affect you 1 and 2 its called you don’t know how to spell theres a spell check for a reason sweetheart learn how to use it.

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