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Comunicar Journal 56: Cyberbullying: the threat without a face (Vol. 26 - 2018)

Spies and security: Assessing the impact of animated videos on intelligence services in school children


Making the work of security organizations known to school children is a means of mitigating feelings of insecurity provoked by the diffusion of information on terrorist attacks in communications media and through social media. Whilst there is a longer tradition of projects to educate school children on the police and the armed forces, no comparable projects have been found on the intelligence services. With the objective of filling this gap, the authors designed and produced two animated educational videos for Spanish school children on the Spanish intelligence service: The National Intelligence Center (CNI). In this paper, the impact of the videos is measured in relation to the knowledge, the stereotypes, and the attitudes of school children towards the CNI. To do so, two questionnaires were administered to 1,092 school children aged 8 and 12, before and after viewing the videos. The results of the questionnaire prior to screening the videos showed that the school children held no knowledge of the intelligence services, and expressed highly developed stereotypes, and moderately negative attitudes towards them. Student-t tests for related samples were used to confirm the responses, on the basis of which it was found that the videos modified both knowledge and stereotyping, as well as attitudes towards the CNI. Specifically, following the screenings the knowledge of the school children improved, stereotyping diminished, and positive attitudes increased.