Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When self-image takes a blow, many turn to television as a distraction

09.01.2003


Whether you fancy yourself a jet-setting sophisticate or a down-to-earth outdoorsy type, a fast-track corporate star or an all-around nice guy, new research indicates that you probably tune out information that challenges your self-image by tuning in to television.


The findings, by Sophia Moskalenko of the University of Pennsylvania and Steven Heine of the University of British Columbia, are presented in a paper published in the January issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

"We each have ways in which we like to perceive ourselves," said Moskalenko, a doctoral student in psychology at Penn. "In many cases self-image is carefully constructed and zealously guarded, and it’s difficult to experience a conflict between who we are and who we would like to be. Television appears to be an effective means of reducing awareness of how we are falling short of our own standards."

In a study of undergraduates’ viewing habits after receiving either positive or negative results on an intelligence test, subjects who received poor scores watched television longer and waited longer before averting their eyes from the screen. Those who fared well on the test watched for only 2.46 out of a possible 6 minutes, first looking away after 11 seconds, while those who did badly watched for 4.03 minutes and did not avert their gaze for 72 seconds.



"To the extent that television provides escape from feelings of inadequacy, it follows that people should be especially likely to seek television-watching opportunities when those inadequacies are made salient," Moskalenko said. "People were more likely to watch television when they were feeling bad about themselves and were less likely to watch it when they felt good about themselves, indicating that people actively seek situations to manage their current levels of positive self-feelings."

In three other experiments, undergraduates perceived less challenge to their chosen self-image after watching television, a finding that held whether subjects viewed neutral programming such as footage of waterfalls against a backdrop of soft classical music or more evocative programming featuring sad music.

Theories of self-awareness suggest that a person can be focused either on himself or on the events occurring around him. An outside stimulus, especially a relatively dynamic one such as television, can draw a person away from painful self-analysis, Moskalenko said. People exhibit relatively higher positive feelings when in a state of subjective self-awareness and, when forced into a state of objective self-awareness, make efforts to direct their attention away from themselves.

"Studies have shown that the average American watches 16 to 26 hours of television per week," Moskalenko said. "Sometimes it may serve to distract us from the fact that we’re not the people we want to be."

Moskalenko and Heine’s study was funded in part by a start-up grant from Penn’s Department of Psychology.

Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>