May 23, 2010

You'd be happier without your television. Sell it on Craigslist.

Posted in Behaviour at 01:29 by graham

A quote by Martin Seligman, from his book Authentic Happiness.

In the nightly choice between reading a good book and watching a sitcom on television, we often [make the wrong choice] – although surveys show again and again that the average mood while watching sitcoms on television is mild depression.

May 13, 2010

Scientific proof: You need to get rid of that TV

Posted in Behaviour at 06:46 by graham

Two observations found in the literature on social psychology, which explain succinctly why, whatever you personally think about it, you would be mentally much better off without your TV.

Mean World Syndrome

People who watch a lot of television believe the world is more violent and intimidating than it actually is.

If you are growing up in a home where there is more than say three hours of television per day, for all practical purposes you live in a meaner world – and act accordingly – than your next-door neighbor who lives in the same world but watches less television.

Our surveys tell us that the more television people watch, the more they are likely to be afraid to go out on the street in their own community, especially at night. They are afraid of strangers and meeting other people.

George Gerbner

Third-person effect

The belief that the mass media has a greater effect on others than it does on oneself. I like to call this the “adverts-don’t-affect-me” effect.