Media use and school achievement

Project period

2005 – 2012

Project staff

Prof. Dr. Christian Pfeiffer

PD Dr. Thomas Mößle, Project Manager

Dr. Florian Rehbein

Eberhard Mecklenburg

Dr. Matthias Kleimann


Volkswagen Foundation

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Heinze (Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg)

Prof. Dr. Emrah Düzel (Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg)

Prof. Dr. Beate Schneider (Institute for Journalism and Communication Research, Hanover)

Prof. Dr. Elsbeth Stern (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Max-Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

Project deskription

The aim of the project was to investigate the impact of intensive and increasingly uncontrolled television and video consumption among children and adolescents, and to develop media education alternatives. A combination of neurobiological, media psychology and media education research approaches will be used to study the neurophysiological and cognitive effects of media use.

Neurobiological experiments (conducted by Professor Hans-Jochen Heinze, Medical Faculty, Otto von Guericke University) and memory psychology studies (Florian Rehbein, KFN) will be used to illustrate the relationship between consumption of problematic media content and learning performance.

The aim of the longitudinal study in Berlin was to investigate how media use (especially of development-impairing media content) affects children and adolescents in terms of their leisure activities, their social behaviour, their intelligence and their school performance. It was also used to demonstrate the changes that can be achieved with targeted intervention and a reduction in media time. In the ‘learning’ project, useful models for media education were developed and tested in cooperation with participating schools.

Project related publications