Current Projects

Parasocial Relationship Survey

Both adults and children form parasocial relationships, or one-sided, emotionally tinged relationships with media characters. Although much is known about adult parasocial relationships, less is known about children’s parasocial relationships.  Our team is interviewing children about their favorite characters and asking parents to fill out surveys about their children’s preferred media characters.  We hope to better understand these unique childhood parasocial relationships, and the implications these parasocial relationships may have on learning and behavior.

 

Intelligent Character Study

We are investigating whether children learn early math skills better from characters who interact in contingent, intelligent ways.  We have children play a game with an intelligent character: Dora the Explorer.  Dora asks the children math questions, and responds contingently to their answers.  We are interested to see whether this level of interactivity allows children to learn more effectively from digital media!