The project uses a cross-sectional research design and will generate evidence that is descriptive [observational], associative/correlational [quasi-experimental], and causal [quasi-experimental]. Original data will be collected on representative samples of 18-month-old to 5-year-old children using assessments of learning, observation [personal observation] and survey research [self-completion questionnaire, structured interviewer-administered questionnaires, semi-structured or informal interviews].
The studies involve a mix of parent-report measures on children's perceptions of media characters, child interviews on their perceptions of and preferences for media characters, standard measures of cognitive development, and direct measures of content learning from experimentally controlled media exposure/use. Data analyses range in type depending on the specific project with-in the overall research plan. Parent and child survey data will be analyzed primarily with factor analyses, correlations, regressions, and structural equation modeling. Experimental data will be analyzed primarily using Analyses of Covariance.