Does watching TV make us happy?

 

“…heavy TV viewers, and in particular those with significant opportunity cost of time, report lower life satisfaction. Long TV hours are also linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety.”

Watching TV is a major human activity. Because of its immediate benefits at negligible immediate marginal costs it is for many people tempting to view TV rather than to pursue more engaging activities. As a consequence, individuals with incomplete control over, and foresight into, their own behavior watch more TV than they consider optimal for themselves and their well-being is lower than what could be achieved. We find that heavy TV viewers, and in particular those with significant opportunity cost of time, report lower life satisfaction. Long TV hours are also linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety.

Source: “Does watching TV make us happy?” from Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 28, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 283-313

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