The Toy Topic
With catchy commercials and colorful advertising, commercials and toy catalogs target children of all ages to entice them into wanting that toy. Not all toys are good for the child. Some toys may encourage violence and aggression in some or all of the children. Other toys may promote pro-social behavior. Some toys may be designed with gender differences in toy selection, preference, and social encouragement of gender specific toys. Lastly, there are cultural influences on toys that develop through the lifespan of each culture.
Toys that may Encourage Violence and Aggression
To better be aware of the effects of violent video games on children, Ellen Wolock scoured the up to date studies and literature reviews (2002). The procedures used to find out if a child is more aggressive after playing a violent videogame include: children’s toy choices, aggressive versus neutral, teacher reports, self-reports, projective tests of aggression and reactions when provoked. Study results vary tremendously, but some seem to show an increase in aggressive behavior directly after playing violent games (Wolock, 2002). In this study, it was observed that second grade boys displayed more aggressive behavior right away after playing a violent video game than boys who played a non-aggressive game ((Wolock, 2002).
Toys that may Promote Pro-Social Behavior
Toy that promote pro-social behavior are often non-gender specific toys. Examples of non-gender specific toys include items such as the Megaland popup playset and most video games. Another Aspect of pro-social toys is that they tend to be cognitive in nature and encourage formulating some sort of strategy. Through winning children learn that good effort leads to good results, while poor effort leads to poor results (Muchnick, 2001). If the strategy pays off and the child wins they learn that putting in their best effort leads to positive results. Children go on to learn this applies not just to games but to other life...