Watching TV Makes You Smarter

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If you were told that TV makes the human brain smarter, would you agree? The vast majority of society would probably argue that TV doesn’t provide any positive benefits for the brain. Recently, studies done by Steven Johnson, popular science author and media theorist, say that watching TV increases a person’s cognitive intellect. In 2005, The New York Times Magazine published Johnson’s article, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter”, and argues that TV is more of a brain workout, rather than entertainment. Johnson’s main argument in the article is the Sleeper Curve Theory: “the most debased forms of mass diversion – video games and violent television dramas and juvenile sitcoms – turn out to be nutritional after all” (Johnson 2). Our society is under the assumption that TV programming has no positive benefits, but what they don’t realize is the cognitive thinking that your mind goes through to keep up with a certain television show, video game, or movie. An audience is required to make inferences on what is happening in a show or game and go from scene to scene while remembering what had happened 30 minutes ago in the same show. This concept may seem easy, but an audience is naturally accustomed to processing information in this fashion. Johnson provides an easier way to grasp this concept by comparing the benefits gained through television to the benefits gained through reading: attention, patience,…show more content…
After pointing out different ways that our media has had a positive effect on the brain, Johnson is not arguing that we should have a care-free attitude when it comes to what type of entertainment we place in front of us, but arguing that our society needs to change its outlook on what type of entertainment is trivia for our well-being and what type of entertainment positively influences our cognitive
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