The Impact of Background Media on Homework Performance: Students’ Perceptions and Experimental Findings
Although a series of studies have shown that television viewing can have adverse effects on young people’s academic performance (Comstock & Paik, 1991), little is known about the processes by which television may hinder students’ academic achievement. One possible explanation is that television distracts students from homework because they do their home study in front of an operating television screen. Whereas pre-television generations of students could chose to combine doing homework with audio media, nowadays students may also combine their homework with television. According to a U.S. survey, secondary school students frequently combine doing homework with the use of background media, either television or audio media — radio, compact discs, and audio cassettes (Patton, Stinard & Routh, 1983). To our knowledge, there are no reliable data about the frequency with which European students combine doing homework with background media.
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