In modern psychology, there is constant talk about why American children are not learning as effectively as those in other cultures. The answer might be shocking. In the United States and other Western cultures, children are being oversaturated with high-intensity stimuli. The constant flow of intense stimuli on a child’s brain becomes the norm. When a child is overexposed to stimuli, they become bored quickly and more often. These children are not able to sit down and pay attention to school, church, or even the view outside a window.
Horror movies, intense video games, etc.
What stimuli are we referring, those found on the screens. It used to be comics, magazine and TV shows, but now it have become screen time and over a dozen different devices. The stimuli through increased detailed videos and even YouTube videos has trained the brain to desire that level of stimulus, otherwise it will begin to shut down and the child or person will become more bored and not being able to find enjoyment through normal activities that do not involve a screen. Just think how stimulated their minds are becoming with more intense video games and movies. No wonder these children are having a harder time in school. What is the correlation between being decensitized and over-stimulated.
Eastern culture and its destruction through television
Science has stated that other cultures have better education systems but to say that is ignorant of where are brains are trained to retain information. If a brain has the choice between remembering something that happened from a video or something that gives very little stimulus while it tries to retain information, the brain is more likely to grab onto the increased stimuli. Eastern cultures as well as those of lower income countries have a lack of this day-to-day stimulus and their brains become less likely to become bored. Their brains are less trained to want a high level of stimulus and so are willing to remember more. (In a follow-up article, I will talk about how emotion and curriculum help solidify the information that is learned.)
My Greatest Example
My own children have even fallen prey to this intensity seeking culture. My eldest son constantly wanted to be on a device. His brain was so overly stimulated while playing games that when he was asked put the screen away, he’d get upset and whine and complain that he was bored. My younger son, in retrospect, always wanted to be outside. He played games and sports. He enjoyed face-to-face interactions with others, always trying to start up conversations. When I took the youngest on a 3-hour drive to one of my conventions, I asked him if he wanted to go on a screen and he accepted it but within 3-5 minutes I looked back and saw that the device was turned off, in his lap, and he was looking out the window.
So, how did we solve the screen problem with my eldest? First, I began to limit his screen time to one hour a day. He complained, of course, that he had nothing to do afterward, but soon his brain began to adjust to the new norm. He began to play make-believe more, stimulating himself through sound effects and movement. This was different than a device stimulus, this was his own, and this is when his imagination began to blossom. Pretty soon, he wanted to go outside and play.
When my eldest has screen time, he uses it right away, but when it’s over, he finds other ways to stimulate his brain. Sitting still is just boring for him. Now he is very good at reading. When the screen goes off, he seems to disappear, and when we find him, he’s usually captivated by a book. But watch out when he’s read all the books in the house! With nothing to read, he becomes bored again and begins to whine. But that’s why we love the public library.
By knowing this information we are able to plan for the education of our youth. If they are being over-stimulated, we may need to bring down their stimulus or increase how stimulating our teaching can be. This is all part of the learning process. More on this next week.
This is the science of why Historical Conquest and epic educational games are so important to the learning of youth. Get your free copy of the game and see how it helps you learn who Historical figures are and what they did: https://www.historicalconquest.com/freeoffer.