Do TV shows affect psychological functioning? Or, do they determine people’s behavior?
Some scientific investigations found that visual presentations shape behavior. For example, a recent study found that narcissistic people tend to watch reality TV shows.
On the other hand, people who watch news programs tend to be less narcissistic.
Narcissism is a personality trait that is characterized by deep admiration of one’s own personal attributes.
Why narcissistic people love reality shows?
The researchers suspect that entertaining shows contribute to narcissism.
A co-author of the study, Ted Dickinson believes that:
“Some people with narcissistic tendencies are seeking out media characters similar to themselves, whereas other who watch reality TV see narcissism as normalized behavior and begin acting more narcissistic.”
Aside from reality shows, narcissistic people also love to watch sports, political news, and thrillers.
The researchers also found that narcissism is more evident among college students. The authors reported that:
“College students in our sample re-ported levels of trait narcissism similar to those predicted by previous research, supporting previous findings that trait narcissism in college students continues to increase over time.”
Why college students tend to have a higher level of narcissism?
The authors speculated that:
“Many of the messages to which we are exposed on the TV today feature rampant self-interest, disregard of others’ well-being, and a focus on the individual above all else, which are all components of narcissism.
Our research suggests that those messages may, in turn, be cultivating narcissism in society.”
Like other studies, the latter finding echoes the impact of TV shows on many aspects of people’s lives.
As we are bombarded by the countless amount of information from different types of media, it is important that we think critically. If you just believe or follow what you hear or see, you’ll end up leading yourself into uncertainties.