How do toys influence behavior, self-concept, and identity?

Step 1: In your Learning Team, read and discuss the ERRs located on the course materials page under the Week Seven link.

 

The articles found under the Week Seven ERR page are as follows:

 

Bradley, R. H. (1985). Social-cognitive development and toys. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 5(3), 11.

 

Caldera, Y. M., & Sciarraffa, M. A. (1998). Parent-toddler play with feminine toys: Are all dolls the same?. Sex Roles, 39(9/10), 657.

 

Klinger, L. J., Hamilton, J. A., & Cantrell, P. J. (2001). Children’s perceptions of aggressive and gender-specific content in toy commercials. Social Behavior & Personality, 29(1), 11.

 

Miller, C. L. (1987). Qualitative differences among gender-stereotyped toys: Implications for cognitive and social development in girls and boys. Sex Roles, 16(9/10), 473.

 

Schwartz, L. A., & Markham, W. T. (1985). Sex stereotyping in children’s toy advertisements. Sex Roles, 12(1/2), 157.

 

As you discuss these articles, pay special attention to the following topics and issues:

  • Toys that may encourage violence and aggression
  • Toys that may promote pro-social behavior
  • Gender differences in toy selection and preference and/or social encouragement of gender-specific toys
  • Cultural influences on toys

 

Create a brief (one paragraph) written summary of the main findings from these articles, as they relate to the bulleted topics and issues.

Step 2: Within your Learning Team, investigate popular toys on the market today.  You can use the internet or visit a toy store to do this research.  See if you can find toys that fall into the four categories above; that is, those that may promote aggression, those that may promote pro-social behavior; those that seem to encourage or discourage gender stereotyping; and those that seem to encourage or discourage cultural differences and/or stereotyping.  Identify and investigate a minimum of four toys, one from each category.  Discuss your observations about these four categories.  You may want to use the following questions as guidance for your team’s analysis of the toys

 

  • How do toys influence behavior, self-concept, and identity?
  • What did you observe concerning positive and negative gender stereotyping?
  • How has your research on toys and gender influenced your views on the relative influences of environment and heredity on gender and identity development in children?
  • From your review of the literature and your examination of actual toys on the market, do you believe that some toys may increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior in children?  Under what circumstances might this occur?  Explain.
  • How has your research on toys and aggression influenced your views on the relative influences of environment and heredity on aggressive behavior in children?
  • Do any of the toys that you have examined promote stereotypes? Do any discourage stereotypes? Explain.
  • Do any of the toys reflect or indicate cultural and ethnic stereotypes? What effect can you see this having on the development of self-concept and identity?
  • How do toys that promote pro-social behavior benefit development during childhood?

 

Create a 12- to 15-slide PowerPoint presentation of your findings including detailed speakers notes. Your presentation should summarize the toys (minimum of four) you investigated and present your findings on how toys influence development.  Conclude your presentation with a discussion of the following:

 

  • After evaluating toys, what would you advise parents concerning how toys can influence the development of their children?  What would you want them to be aware of and why?
  • Have your views about the relative influences of heredity and environment on human development changed in any way?  For example, are there things you once attributed to heredity that you now believe to be more strongly influenced by the environment, or vice versa?

 

Format your presentation according to APA standards.

Submit the PowerPoint and ERR summaries to your instructor.

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