Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Read and Be Happy

According to a new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland, unhappy people watch more TV while happy people spend more time reading and socializing.

John P. Robinson, the study co-author, thinks TV is a form of passive escapism:

It’s more passive and may provide escape - especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise.
The study concludes that unhappy people watch about 20 percent more TV than very happy people, even after correcting for education, income, age, and marital status. Co-author Steven Martin links TV to addiction:
Addictive activities produce momentary pleasure but long-term misery and regret. … People most vulnerable to addiction tend to be socially or personally disadvantaged. For this kind of person, TV can become a kind of opiate in a way. It’s habitual, and tuning in can be an easy way of tuning out.
The bottom line: Turn off the TV and pick up a good book.


Anna van Gelderen said...

I knew it!

Anonymous said...

I must be delirious - I hardly ever watch TV, but I do have to admit that Dancing With the Stars is my guilty pleasure.

mike mitchell said...

Isn't The Bachelor coming back on?!?

Sandra said...

I could have told them that. :)