In the second half of the 20th century, television emerged and quickly became one of the most ubiquitous technologies in history. With television’s introduction into homes, schools, and community gathering places, the nature of human development changed substantially. Gatherings of friends took place around a television set instead of a kitchen table, free time for children was increasingly spent watching their favorite programming instead of playing outside, and a multitude of new content was created to entertain and educate viewers. This entry discusses how television has impacted human life, particularly in the social, cognitive, and physical realms of life-span development.

The Social Domain

Because the invention of the television, adult and child viewers alike have been able to gather information on people, cultures, family structures, and social ...

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