Television formats, mastery of mental skills, and the acquisition of knowledge

Gavriel Solomon*, Akiba A. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conducted a study to demonstrate that when TV formats are varied, with content held constant, they differentially affect the use of mental skills and the acquisition of knowledge. Four groups of 44 5th graders were pretested on a battery of mental skill tests; then each group was shown 1 of 4 TV film versions of a story and posttested on 2 types of knowledge acquisition tests. All films had the same content, but their dominant format of presentation differed, with fragmentation of spaces, logical gaps, close-ups, and zoomings in and out. Results show differential patterns of correlations between initial skill mastery and knowledge acquisition within each format, depending on whether the format called upon a skill or supplanted it. Also, correlational patterns varied as a function of the requirements of the knowledge acquisition task. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-619
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1977


  • TV format variation with constant content, mastery of mental skills &
  • acquisition of knowledge, 5th graders


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