Watching TV makes you smarter - Essay Example

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In the article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” Steven Johnson is essentially presenting the argument that excessive TV watching is unhealthy for viewers. Johnson (169) argues that new, terrific, and action packed television programs such as “24, ER, The West Wing and the…
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Watching TV makes you smarter
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Insert Whether Watching TV Makes Viewers Smarter In the article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” Steven Johnson is essentially presenting the argument that excessive TV watching is unhealthy for viewers. Johnson (169) argues that new, terrific, and action packed television programs such as “24, ER, The West Wing and the Sopranos” are essentially beneficial for the audience, due to their sophisticated story-lines and theme multi-threading, which keep the consumers’ brains active. In light of this, Johnson is spot-on, considering that the unpredictable nature of these shows requires higher level of brain activity than shows with simpler, more predictable plot lines such as the A-team.
Johnson’s argument in support of television programs with more intricate stories can actually have a greater level of intellectual benefits when compared to plainer shows because under the latter case, the viewer’s brain does not explore potential outcomes of the story and the rationale behind such ideological constructs (170). Conversely, Johnson falls short of providing a convincing argument that places television viewing above other ways of gaining intellectual skills such as reading books.
In fact, owing to the general spectator roles in television viewers, their inability to take charge of the unfolding events in the programs does not have any impact on their respective intelligence quotients (IQs). The viewers’ cognition is always expected to remain unchanged, irrespective of the content they are exposed to. By contrast, most people need some motivation to clear both psychological and physical fatigue inherent in human life, in an attempt to stimulate learning and cognitive development. In light of this, simple television programs with a higher level of predictability may have a higher degree of improving the IQ of the viewers.
Works Cited
Johnson, Steven. “Watching TV Makes You Smarter.” The New York Times, 24 Apr. 2005. Web 30 July 2014. Read More
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