Jan 22, 2014
Question by Bob Lathan:
In your clinical trial described in The SharpBrains Guide, both the social group and the intellectual activities group got cognitive boosts, as opposed to the Seinfeld watching group. While I am sure there is much more research to be done…isn’t it pretty clear that most people would benefit from watching less TV and spending more time doing complex social or intellectual stuff? What do you think about stats showing that the average American spends 3 or 4 hours watching TV per day?
Answer by Prof. Oscar Ybarra:
Dear Bob, I am in full agreement. In addition to the experimental work we did, I have conducted large scale surveys with thousands of people and find that hours of TV viewing are associated with worse cognitive function. I believe other researchers have obtained similar results. Although TV viewing (content) varies much across individuals, it seems to consistently predict lower cognitive function. Assuming this relationship is generally causal (as our experimental work suggests), I do think there are more productive things people could be doing with the hours they devote to watching TV on a daily basis.