If you have ever wondered if babies can tell when they’re Skyping, I’ve got some good news for you. Research suggests that babies can in fact tell the difference between a TV character on a movie screen from a real live person that is in the midst of a video call.
Prominent scientists from several well known universities proclaimed that based on the test results that they consistently received, infants can tell the difference between a news broadcast and a video call with their actual grandparent. Based on the fact that children are able to make sophisticated inferences about the events that transpires around them, before they are even able to talk this comes as no surprise.
One researcher even proclaimed, that babies are able to determine where or not an adult is talking to them, in real time. As a matter of fact, this is arguably one of the real reasons why some television shows talk directly to their audience such as Dora The Explorer and Bob The Builder for example.
The fact that evidence demonstrates that babies can tell the difference between a TV show and a video interaction as early as 6 months, can prove to be especially beneficial to individuals who have extended families. This is due to the fact that extended families are typically spread out over great geographical distances. As such, many babies never really get the opportunity to meet their distant aunts/uncles, grandparents and other family members unless a family event has been organized a head of time or if they conduct a video call.
While it may be true that scientists have always studied the impact that passive television viewing has on children as well as how efficiently they can learn from educational programming, scientists are just in the beginning phases of understanding how children interpret on screen interactions with another individual via video call technology.
Interestingly enough, babies seem to grasp the concept of video chatting significantly easier than having phone conversations. This is due to the fact that children cannot speak back on forth on the phone while they are in their infancy stage. Scientists believe that a large part of the reason why babies are able to tell the difference between a Skype call and a regular TV show is the fact that their caregivers encourage interaction. For example, researchers have found that children actually interact with the adult on the other end of the screen by blowing them kisses, sharing food with them and making silly faces. This all occurred as a result of the fact that their caregivers encourages it such as saying “where’s grandma?” and “Blow a kiss back to grandpa” for example. Some research also indicates that children actually thrive on video interactions. Studies suggest that toddlers in particular, experience a higher level of comfort when they interact with their mother via video chat as opposed to the phone.
To sum things up, if you have ever wondered whether or not children can discern a video chat from a TV show, rest assured that they can and emerging research proves this fact.