The question of whether children are passive or active viewers of television fare has important implications for their cognitive processes including attention, comprehension, and retention. Disagreement continues in the current research literature as well as historically between those who view the television viewer as an essentially passive individual who absorbs information and television content indiscriminately and those who see the viewer as an active, constructionist individual whose own characteristics and past experience determine what is attended to and retained. Current research supports the view that children’s expectations, needs, motivation, set, activity, cognitive skill, and experience all serve as determinants of attention.