Kids work harder when dressed like Batman, study says - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Kids work harder when dressed like Batman, study says

Logan Wise, 4, dressed as Batman, rides on his father Frank's shoulders at the Derby City Comic Con in Louisville, KY, June 20, 2015. Dressing up may work wonder's for kids' perserverance. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) Logan Wise, 4, dressed as Batman, rides on his father Frank's shoulders at the Derby City Comic Con in Louisville, KY, June 20, 2015. Dressing up may work wonder's for kids' perserverance. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

(RNN) - Want to make your young child have the gumption to work on a boring task? Dress it up, or rather, dress him or her up - as Batman.

Bob the Builder, Rapunzel and Dora the Explorer work too, apparently.

Having young children practice self-distancing - or "taking an outsider's view of one's own situation" - boosted their perseverance, according to a report by Rachel E. White and Emily O. Prager published in the September-October issue of "Child Development."

"Taking a mental step back from one’s own situation could help children persevere in the face of distraction," the study said. 

In the study, 180 4- and 6-year-old children were asked to complete a repetitive task for 10 minutes.

They were placed in control groups. In one, children referred to themselves in the first person when discussing their thoughts and feelings about their tasks. In the second, children referred to themselves in the third person. In the third,he children took on the persona of a exemplary character like Batman or Dora the Explorer.

Children were put to work on repetitive tasks that they were told very important. But they could take breaks by "playing an extremely attractive video game" on an iPad.

No surprise: The kids spent 37 percent of their time on the task and 63 percent on the iPad, the World Economic Forum reported in an article published in coordination with Quartz. 

Naturally, 6-year-olds stayed on task longer than 4-year-olds. However, children across both age groups who impersonated a superhero or other character fared the best at staying on task.

Children who took a third-person perspective on the self did second-best at working on tasks, and those who remained looking at the world from a first-person perspective did the least. 

"Perseverance is necessary throughout our lives, from children struggling to sound out each letter on the page as they learn to read, to college students studying organic chemistry late into the night," the study said. "Whether due to the tedium of the task at hand or the pull of the many more immediate gratifications that abound in our environments, success often requires persisting through some 'unpleasure.'"

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Science & technology newsMore>>

  • Report: NASA needs backup plan as US crew launches slip

    Report: NASA needs backup plan as US crew launches slip

    Wednesday, July 11 2018 3:00 PM EDT2018-07-11 19:00:13 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:21:35 GMT
    (David C. Bowman/NASA via AP). In this Feb. 9, 2016 photo made available by NASA, a mockup of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, in development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, splashes into a 20-foot-deep basin at NASA’s Langley...(David C. Bowman/NASA via AP). In this Feb. 9, 2016 photo made available by NASA, a mockup of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, in development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, splashes into a 20-foot-deep basin at NASA’s Langley...
    Report says NASA needs a backup plan for getting astronauts to space, as more delays likely for new commercial crew capsules.More >>
    Report says NASA needs a backup plan for getting astronauts to space, as more delays likely for new commercial crew capsules.More >>
  • Chinese find suggests human relatives left Africa earlier

    Chinese find suggests human relatives left Africa earlier

    Wednesday, July 11 2018 1:11 PM EDT2018-07-11 17:11:11 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:21:34 GMT
    (Zhaoyu Zhu via AP). This Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 photo provided by Zhaoyu Zhu shows a stone flake that was found in an archaeological site in the Loess Plateau in China. In a report released on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, scientists believe stone tools...(Zhaoyu Zhu via AP). This Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 photo provided by Zhaoyu Zhu shows a stone flake that was found in an archaeological site in the Loess Plateau in China. In a report released on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, scientists believe stone tools...
    Stone tools unearthed in China push back the date human relatives left Africa.More >>
    Stone tools unearthed in China push back the date human relatives left Africa.More >>
  • Russian cargo ship makes fastest-ever trip to space station

    Russian cargo ship makes fastest-ever trip to space station

    Monday, July 9 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-07-10 02:15:11 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:21:32 GMT
    A Russian cargo ship loaded with food, fuel and other supplies arrives at the International Space Station.More >>
    A Russian cargo ship loaded with food, fuel and other supplies arrives at the International Space Station.More >>
Powered by Frankly