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5 Ways TV Makes You Smarter

Unless you grew up in an alternate dimension where television does not exist (in which case, congratulations on managing to find the internet), you’ve probably heard that watching a lot of TV will turn your brain into mush.

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1. It improves your memory

Researchers at Wisconsin's Marquette University found that people who read a group of words and then watched a TV show remembered more of the words a week later than those who did not watch TV after reading the words. However, they also found that this works better with comedy shows rather than drama.

2. It expands your vocabulary

Ever start using a phrase or a new word that you heard first from your favorite TV character? So have a lot of people. In fact, some of society’s most common words and sayings were first heard on TV.

3. It gives you social skills

Some moms have been reported to sit down with their teenage daughters to watch “Mean Girls” in order to teach them how to play nice with other girls (which could explain why some channels always seem to be playing this movie). Seeing healthy relationships, teamwork and other social interactions play out on a TV screen can help some children develop normal social skills, especially when they may not always be exposed to them at home.

4. It increases your problem-solving abilities

TV shows have steadily gotten more advanced in plot and are much harder to follow than those of past decades. The twists are more common, and to understand what is going on often require some conclusions made by the viewer. So, when you solve the murder before the TV cops do, you’re getting a cognitive workout!

5. It makes you more ambitious

Watching TV exposes you to new careers and ideas. This can inspire you to become ambitious, and becoming ambitious makes you eager to learn new things. Don’t believe it? Astronaut Mae Jemison said she was inspired to follow that career path after watching Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura on “Star Trek,” and many other people first became interested in their jobs after seeing them portrayed or mentioned on TV.

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