The psychologist identified four areas in which the television most strongly influences people’s opinions.
“If I asked you why you believe in things you believe in, your first thought it would hardly be “for the TV”. But it is through television, we receive information about the world, even if not always realize it,” says psychologist Neal Petersen in the column for psychcentral.
“I’m not just talking about the news and documentaries. Everything from soap Opera to medical dramas, carries both explicit and implicit messages that affect our attitudes and beliefs”, – the author continues.
He describes four areas in which television affects people’s beliefs.
1. Beliefs about the criminal justice system
In Austria the death penalty was abolished in 1968 But not everyone who lives there know about it.
The study, published this month, showed that residents of Austria who frequently watch TV are more likely to believe that the death penalty still exists.
The researchers found that TV viewing affects what you think about the justice system.
2. Opinion about your body
TV often sends certain messages about what the body is “perfect”, and it turns out that we are very receptive to these signals.
A study published in 2013 showed that adult viewers care more about having well-developed muscles. Another study showed that adolescents compare their body to the bodies of TV characters, especially when these characters look slimmer.
3. The perception of fast food
Watching TV affects the belief of teenagers about the health risks posed by fast food. In particular, Teens who watch more TV have a better attitude to fast food.
Researchers believe that these beliefs are formed consciously TV.
4. The love for alcohol
Apparently, Teens who watch a lot of TV, prefer to take the kit to the fries a bottle of beer. TV not only changes the way adolescents perceive fast food, but also has an impact on their perception of alcohol: they think less negative about its impact.
“Although the majority of studies evaluating how television shapes people’s beliefs, were based on data of adolescents who are particularly susceptible to the implicit messages of the media, everything points to the fact that adults are also not immune from the influence of TV – remember the study on the death penalty in Austria, for example,” Petersen emphasizes.
“No one’s saying not allowed to watch television. But it is always better to know where our beliefs: are they our own or imposed from outside,” he concludes.