Tv Makes You Smarter

Topics: Television program, Reality television, Television Pages: 4 (1440 words) Published: September 14, 2013
TV Makes You Smarter

Everyday people watch some level of television. Whether it is the news, sports, a movie or a reality show, it is a pastime that people look forward to and/or come to rely on in their daily routine. There are some programs that have a lot of violence and perhaps should be watched minimally or by an appropriately aged audience.  However, there are many other programs that do not have violence and actually educate us, working subconsciously, without us even knowing it. For this reason, watching television in moderation is not harmful and can be very educational.  

In the article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” by Steven Johnson, he states that watching television will make you smarter. He goes on to mention that there is something called the “sleeper curve”. The sleeper curve is with each passing year, TV is posing new cognitive challenges that actually make our minds measurably sharper. What he means by that is that each year television creates new ideas for TV shows. Those TV shows have some sort of problem or situation that forces our brain to constantly process all of this information to make inferences and connections. With those inferences and connections we can put together things that the director doesn't make completely obvious to the viewer. It helps us better understand what’s going on in the story and the best thing is we don’t realize we’re even doing this. Steven Johnson talks about the show “24” and how complicated it is to follow. The show has 21 distinct characters and each one has their own story line, overcoming obstacles and sharing relationships with other people. Steven Johnson states, "To keep up with entertainment like ‘24’, you have to pay attention, make inferences, and track shifting social relationships." This is just one example of a program that demonstrates the “sleeper curve” (Watching TV Makes You Smarter Para. 1-2).  

There are many other programs, especially for children that consciously set out to...

Cited: Boursaw, Jane. "TV That Makes Us Smarter." (n.d.): n. pag. Film Gecko RSS. Web. 10 Dec.
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"R Is for Relevant: "Reading Rainbow: TV Good Enough to Read!" PBS. PBS, Feb. 2005. Web.
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"The Simpsons." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
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