Are you a devoted don't-miss-an-episode Mad Men fan? Or perhaps The West Wing is more your tune? Well, you and your fellow television addicts can rejoice today thanks to a new study that proves watching prestige dramas is actually good for your health. According to a study by psychologists at the University of Oklahoma, watching them "gives you a keener sense of the world around you." So it actually makes you a better person.
The researchers wanted to find out if the "programming you watch has an effect on empathy and emotional intelligence," so in two separate studies, they randomly assigned participants to watch either a prestige drama (Mad Men, The West Wing, The Good Wife, or Lost) or a TV documentary (Shark Week, How the Universe Works, NOVA Colosseum, or Through the Wormhole). A control group in the second study didn't watch any television, instead performing a "Reading the Mind Through the Eyes" test, whereby you try to detect the emotions (jealousy, hate, arrogance, panic) in 36 pairs of eyes. Obviously, to us at least, the first group who watched the TV drama fared better than the documentary-watching participants. In conclusion, the psychologists found that "paying attention to a narrative can help you understand what's going on in another person's head."
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Do you agree with this study? Has watching prestige drama increased your overall empathy toward others or made you feel better about the world? Share with us in the comments.