Research: Does Increasing TV Consumption Make People Stupid?

Research: Does Increasing TV Consumption Make People Stupid?

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People who watch a lot of TV are subject to everyday myths more easily
Those who watch a lot of TV not only endanger their health, but are also subject to everyday myths more often. This was shown by an investigation by Austrian scientists. High TV consumption may also be related to prejudices and incorrect information on health-related issues.

Sitting for long periods is unhealthy
Those who sit in front of the TV for a long time every day endanger their health. Recently, Dutch scientists reported that sitting for long periods increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. Lingering in front of the TV for hours can also cause pulmonary embolism. Earlier research also showed that sitting too much increases the risk of colon cancer. And it is often associated with incorrect posture and resulting complaints such as back pain.

High TV consumption encourages prejudice
A high TV consumption is not only problematic because of the long sitting. It apparently also promotes prejudice and leads to an incorrect level of information. As the MedUni Vienna reports in a current report, people who watch a lot of television are subject to everyday myths more often and more easily - regardless of age, education and gender. This is the result of a media study at the Center for Public Health at MedUni Vienna under the direction of Benedikt Till and Thomas Niederkrotenthaler. The researchers have now published their results in the journal "Death Studies".

Almost twelve percent believe that the death penalty exists in Austria
The study asked 322 people about their TV consumption and at the same time whether they believed that the death penalty still existed in Austria and how many people were on death row. According to the release, 11.6 percent of respondents were of the wrong opinion that the death penalty still exists. This assumption was more widespread the higher the television consumption.

In its press release, the university explains that the death penalty in the Alpine Republic was abolished in February 1968 and the last execution in Austria was in March 1950.

Influence of American series
"The effect that more than one in ten thinks they know that the death penalty still exists in Austria can probably be explained by the high proportion of American films and TV series on Austrian television," said Benedikt Till. "In the crime thrillers in particular, the American judicial system, in which the death penalty is of central importance, is portrayed continuously."

In other areas, US productions seem to play a more positive role. A few years ago, doctors criticized the perfect world of German medical series and raised formats such as “Dr. House ”, a series from the United States that deals with rare diseases, is positive.

Distorted representation of the world
It is known from cultivation research that the distorted representation of the world on TV can also lead to a distorted perception of the world by the viewer. “For example, people with high TV consumption, for example, often overestimate the number of people in those professions that are often portrayed on TV, for example doctors, lawyers or police officers. The likelihood of falling victim to a crime is also overestimated, ”said Till.

High TV viewing doesn't just change values
As was shown for the first time in the current study, television consumption not only changes attitudes and values, it can "negatively and fundamentally influence knowledge about fundamental principles of society, such as the death penalty," said the researchers.

Based on the study, it can also be assumed that other prejudices, myths and incorrect information on health-related topics - such as myths about suicide, the core area of ​​the two social medics at the Center for Public Health at MedUni Vienna - could also be related to increased media consumption. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Revealing the Mind: The Promise of Psychedelics (July 2022).


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