Entries in television (5)


Better Than You Think: The Impact of TV on Your Relationship

Television often gets a bad rap. If your mom was anything like mine, she often warned that if you sat too long in front of the TV it would “rot your brain.” TV’s potential for brain degradation aside, because watching TV is enjoyable, it feels natural to assume there is a catch. Something we clearly like so much must have detrimental effects, including hurting your relationship, right? Not so fast. A recent article from the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships challenges that assumption and tests whether watching TV with your partner could actually improve your relationship.

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Parasocial Relationships: I Get by with a Little Help from My (TV) Friends

Lately it seems like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about a TV show reunion. From Seinfeld to Friends, Sex and the City to 90210, the rumors circulate, even in the face of stars vigorously denying the possibility.  What would make us miss our favorite TV characters so much that, despite the stars’ protests, we still hold out hope of celebrities reviving their beloved roles? The answer may lie in our need to belong.

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Does Watching TV Make You (or Your Partner) a Control Freak?

It’s no surprise that television shows have a lot of relationship conflict in them. Would you watch Grey’s Anatomy if every time someone had a problem with his or her partner they sat down and had a calm, serious discussion? Probably not. I don’t know about you, but I want to see some EMOTION! It is this need for drama that encourages writers and producers to give us shows full of relational conflict, but what does watching this high-conflict type of television do to our relationships?

Depending on the type of shows you watch and the types of conflicts under consideration (e.g., family conflict vs. romantic relationship conflict), there will be between 1.05 and 8.79 conflicts per hour of television.1,2 In addition, female characters are usually the ones who start the fights, place blame, and use mean tactics (e.g., patronizing comments, chastisement, and defensiveness) to try and get their way in conflicts. Right now, some of you may be thinking, so what? Conflict exists in all relationships, right?

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Capitalization on 'The Big Bang Theory'

In this clip from Season 5 of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Amy ("Shamy") go on their monthly date, as specified by the "relationship agreement." This scene illustrates the importance of being excited about your partner's good news, something relationship researchers refer to as "capitalization." Read more about this topic here, and more from The Big Bang Theory here, here, and here.


Geekosystem Failure: Does TV Cause Marital Strife?

Geekosystem.com…We love you, but you should probably stick to what you do best (sharing random, marginally humorous things you find on the internet) and leave relationship science to the experts.

A few days ago Geekosystem ran a story titled, Television Is Destroying Our Romantic Relationships, As If We Need The Help. The first two sentences of the article read as follows:

We can add television to the list of things that are destroying marriages across the world. According to a recent study from Albion University, watching television can be a significant cause of marital strife.

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