Is TV Not as Bad for Kids as We Thought?

By Kat Saxton, Erica Lee, Laura Saslow | July 16, 2010 | 2 comments

Summaries of new research on the effects of TV on kids, why partners don't always need to empathize with each other, and how to deal with social exclusion.

Research Digest Icon

* This new Greater Good section, Research Digests, offers short summaries of recent studies on happiness, compassion, altruism, and more. Quick to read, easy to digest—we review the research so you don’t have to!


Does TV Really Impair Kids’ Attention?

"The Value of Reanalysis: TV Viewing and Attention Problems"

Child Development. Vol 81(1), February 2010, 368-375.

In this study, researchers found that moderate amounts of television viewing among young children (ages one and three) was not associated with later attention problems at age seven, despite previous reports to the contrary. Television viewing was only a problem among children who watched over seven hours of television per day. The authors suggest that the quality of television kids view may also make a difference. —Kat Saxton

Tags: , ,

Why You Don’t Always Need to Feel Your Partner’s Pain

"For Better or Worse? Coregulation of Couples’ Cortisol Levels and Mood States. "

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Volume 98 (1), January 2010, Pages 92–103.

We might think we should be so closely tied to our spouses that we feel their pain: When they’re stressed, we’re stressed; when they’re calm, we’re calm. But it turns out that more happily married couples have stress levels that are less tightly synchronized with one another, and this may actually be healthy: When one partner is upset, the other can remain calm, allowing the couple to disengage from escalating conflicts. So, happier spouses may not always mirror what their spouse is feeling, nor should they. —Laura Saslow

Tags: ,

Dulling the Pain of Exclusion

"Ostracism: How Much It Hurts Depends on How You Remember It"

Emotion. Vol 9(3), June 2009, 430-434.

Ostracism is a common social experience that has powerful effects on our sense of belonging, control, and self-esteem. So how do we keep its negative effects from lingering afterward? In the first study of its kind, researchers found that ostracized people not only suffer while they’re being excluded; they continue to suffer later if they mentally recall the event from an outside observer’s perspective. But research suggests that viewing past events from our own perspective, not that of an objective outside observer, elicits less anxiety and emotion, and so may facilitate recovery from traumatic social events. —Erica Lee

Tags: , , ,

Tracker Pixel for Entry
Jason Marsh's avatar

Thanks for your comment, Susan. I think the research on TV and other media agrees with you.

Jason Marsh | 9:29 am, July 22, 2010 | Link

blog comments powered by Disqus



Greater Good Events

The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017
Clark Kerr Campus, UC-Berkeley
Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 30, 2017 OR Sunday, July 16 - Friday, July 21, 2017

The Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators 2017

The GGSC’s six-day Summer Institute equips education professionals with prosocial learning strategies, tools and processes that benefit both students and teachers.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

Roots of Empathy By Mary Gordon Mary Gordon explains how best to nurture empathy and social emotional literacy in all children—and thereby reduce aggression, antisocial behavior, and bullying.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement