carpe377: November 2011 Archives

Seeing Like a Baby

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Wouldn't it be nice if when something was out of sight it truly disappeared? I know there would be a few things I would try this with, homework, dirty clothes, the list can go on. Well as we read in the book this concept of object permanence is actually something babies lack and so they can view the world with the mindset "Out of sight, out of mind". This would definitely make the world more simple, and infinitely more entertaining. This lack in object permanence is what makes peekaboo so enthralling to a baby. When their parent or caretaker covers their face with their hands they actually believe they are gone, then return when the face comes back into view. Now this would seem like it would always be an amazing time, but the article I read put it into a more sad and terrifying tone.

The article talked about how while the lack of object permanence would make games of peekaboo mystifying it would also make people simply leaving the room devastating. The idea the infant has is that the parent is simply gone instead of in a different room, which can be a very scary thing for something fresh out of the womb. A favorite toy going behind the family couch would be like taking it out of the world. The article claims that these disappearances occurring so often in a child's world allow them to adapt through habituation, but this claim is not consistent across all infants as I'm sure any parent knows the constant crying that will follow their leaving the child. I'm not quite sure if I would hold the lack of object permanence in such high regard if I had to experience it every day, but right now it sure sounds like a pretty cool ability.

The articles I used can be found here:

This is something that it written about time and time again, yet I never feel any single article establishes a real resolution to this argument. The article I found on the topic however, and this is a first, does not claim one side or another, it simply points out the scientific evidence and lets the reader decide which is where I must step in.

Based on the evidence that the testers gathered in their studies, violent video games triggered enhanced amounts of emotional arousal in children. The article goes on to add that this does NOT mean the child will go on a killing spree after playing a game like Call of Duty, which I think is one thing many studies fail to point out. From what I read numerous other activities, such as playing an intense racing game with no graphic violence at all, can also cause similar results on brain patterns. What I found was most surprising in the article was that these instances of heightened brain activity seemed to increase in duration based on how long the game was played, and some researchers even began to theorize whether or not the effect could become permanent after consistent gaming sessions. To me the idea seemed somewhat possible, as just as our brain has the ability to learn a new skill or ability wouldn't it make sense for it also be able to learn a mindset? This possibility is quite interesting and could finally justify the fear of violent games as true, yet just as the article stated they are simply theories.

From a personal standpoint I am undecided on the topic. The way that our brain is able to learn makes me think that there is a possibility of such a threat, yet from experience I have to think otherwise. At very young ages when children are most impressionable during early stages of development, do I believe they might begin to play soldiers after seeing a game of guns and killing? Of course I do, and this could be where the belief stems from. Yet in a practical case, where the children are maybe a bit under recommended age I believe their knowledge of reality and simulation will overcome any urge they have to pick up a gun and go shoot people. Just as the parents believe the violence corrupts the minds of their kids, I believe the fear is corrupting the minds of the parents, and until there is solid evidence to prove otherwise I will continue believing just that.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by carpe377 in November 2011.

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