Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Binge-Watching TV

This completely justifies your Mad Men addiction

The next time your so-called friends yell at you for still talking about Mad Men and The Wire, tell them science says it's healthy for you. This is not a lie. According to psychologists at the University of Oklahoma, watching prestige dramas will give you a keener sense of the world around you.

The study, which was published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, wanted to figure out if the programming you watch has an affect on empathy and emotional intelligence.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In two separate studies, participants were randomly assigned to watch either a prestige drama (Mad Men, The West Wing, The Good Wife, or Lost), or a TV documentary (Shark Week, How the Universe Works, NOVA Colosseum, or Through the Wormhole). In the second study, there was also a control group that didn't watch any television. The participants then performed the "Reading the Mind Through the Eyes" test, where participants try to detect the emotions (jealousy, hate, arrogance, panic) in 36 pairs of eyes.

Most Popular

Participants who watched the TV drama performed better on the test than documentary-watchers, and the control group fared the worst. The researchers deduced that paying attention to a narrative can help you understand what's going on in another person's head. It's called the "theory of mind," what humans do when they try to pick up social cues and predict what another person will do or say next.

Business Insider noted that the documentaries weren't about people, and they didn't test any trashy soap operas or reality TV, so it's unclear whether those programs would also produce the same results as the dramas.

But you don't have to tell that part to the people who keep calling you a snob.

This article was originally published on Esquire.com (from The Newsroom)

***
MORE FILM & TV:

Mad Men Finale: Which Character Had The Best Ending?
The 10 Greatest TV Dramas Of The Century
12 Documentaries You Didn't Know Were On Netflix
***

What do you think?

Francesco Totti
Culture
Share
Why Francesco Totti Is The Last King Of Football's Golden Age
​​As the Roma legend turns 40, Finlay Renwick reflects on the the legacy of the ultimate one club footballer​​
Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie
Culture
Share
Brad Pitt's Love Life: A Timeline
Who else had forgotten about Juliette Lewis?
Liam and Noel Gallagher
Culture
Share
Are Oasis About To Announce A Comeback?
Insert 'Don't Look Back In Anger' pun here​
truman-capote-failure-quotes-43
Books
Share
Someone Just Bought Truman Capote's Ashes For £34,000
"​He would love it that he's still grabbing headlines today"​
Lil Wayne
Culture
Share
Lil' Wayne Officiated A Same-Sex Wedding While In Prison
​​As you do ​
Sam Allardyce
Culture
Share
Sam Allardyce Embarrasses The FA And Himself After Being Caught In Newspaper Sting
Why, Sam? Why?​​
Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear
TV
Share
Matt LeBlanc Signs Up For Another Two Series Of Top Gear
How you doin'? Pretty good actually​
Culture
Share
Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Reportedly Have An 'Ironclad' Prenup
​Here's how they'll split $500 Million
Culture
Share
Arnold Palmer: What I've Learned
​The then 82-year-old golfer on how staying with the classic styles helped him dress well his whole life​
In order to hide his Polio from the public, Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in New York via a secret extension of Grand Central Terminal underneath the Waldorf Astoria hotel. His abandoned train car—which is still there today—transported the president and his limousine directly up into the hotel's garage so he could come and go unnoticed.
Culture
Share
17 Photos Of The Most Eerie Abandoned Sites In The World
And in some cases, actually haunted