IOWA CITY, IA (CBS) – It might be difficult for Cookie Monster to resist gobbling down those cookies, but in doing so, he’s actually teaching young kids to follow his lead.
According to new research from the University of Iowa, kids who watched a Sesame Street video starring the loveable blue monster were better able to practice impulse control than those who viewed another Sesame Street video featuring other characters.
In the study, 59 preschoolers from six daycares in the Midwest were shown a video of Cookie Monster practicing restraint when faced with his Kryptonite, a bowl of chocolate chip cookies.
The children who saw the Cookie Monster footage were able to wait four minutes longer than other kids who saw another Sesame Street video without Cookie. They were also more likely to control their impulse to shout out character names and could remember and repeat longer number sequences.
“A formal school situation requires that children control impulses, follow directions, transit smoothly between activities, and focus on relevant task information,” explains lead researcher Deborah Linebarger, on the school’s website. “These skills also predict other academic skills including reading, math, and science.”
Linebarger reportedly presented the study’s findings at a conference in London earlier this month. They have not yet been published.
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