Researchers from Mainz and Amsterdam look at the paradox relationship of media use and stress recovery
It seems common practice: After a long day at work, most people sometimes just want to turn on the TV or play a video or computer game to calm down and relax.
However, in a study recently published in the Journal of Communication researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands found that people who were highly stressed after work did not feel relaxed or recovered when they watched TV or played computer or video games. Instead, they tended to show increased levels of guilt and feelings of failure.
In a joint survey research project, Dr. Leonard Reinecke of the Department of Communication at Mainz University and Dr. Tilo Hartmann and Dr. Allison Eden of the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam asked a total of 471 study participants about their previous day, how they felt after work or school, and what media they turned to at the end of the day.
The researchers found that those who felt particularly wiped out after work or school were more inclined to feel that their media use was wasted time and procrastination. They felt guilty for having given in to their desire of watching TV or playing a video game instead of taking care of more important tasks. In consequence, these people felt less recovered and revitalized, diminishing the positive effects of media use.
The results suggest a paradoxical pattern between depletion and media-induced recovery: Those who could have benefited the most from recovery through media use instead experienced less recovery because they were more prone to think of their media use as a failure in self-control.
Prior research has shown that the use of entertaining media produces a recovery experience that helps people relax and detach from the stresses of work, but also provides mastery experience and a feeling of control. As a result, people feel energized and more vital after media use and even show stronger cognitive performance thanks to media-induced recovery.
"We are beginning to better understand that media use can have beneficial effects for people's well-being through media-induced recovery. Our present study is an important step towards a deeper understanding of this.
It demonstrates that in real life the relationship between media use and well-being is complicated and that the use of media may conflict with other, less pleasurable but more important duties and goals in everyday life," said Dr. Leonard Reinecke, lead author of the study. "We are starting to look at media use as a cause of depletion. In times of smartphones and mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of content and communication often seems to be a burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource."
Leonard Reinecke, Tilo Hartmann, Allison Eden, “The Guilty Couch Potato: The Role of Ego Depletion in Reducing Recovery Through Media Use,” Journal of Communication
24 June 2014
Dr. Leonard Reinecke, Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
phone +49 6131 39-28319
fax +49 6131 39-24586
Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
NASA Goddard network maintains communications from space to ground
02.03.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.
Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...
Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases
Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...
Scaffolding and specialised workers help with the delivery – Heidelberg biochemists gain new insights into biogenesis
A type of scaffolding on which specialised workers ply their trade helps in the manufacturing process of the two subunits from which the ribosome – the protein...
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a new mass spectrometry imaging method which, for the first time, makes it possible to analyze hundreds of metabolites in fixed tissue samples. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Protocols, explain the new access to metabolic information, which will offer previously unexploited potential for tissue-based research and molecular diagnostics.
In biomedical research, working with tissue samples is indispensable because it permits insights into the biological reality of patients, for example, in...
Chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in using computer simulations to elucidate transient structures in proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers set out how computer simulations of details at the atomic level can be used to understand proteins’ modes of action.
Using computational chemistry, it is possible to characterize the motion of individual atoms of a molecule. Today, the latest simulation techniques allow...
15.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
11.07.2016 | Event News
22.07.2016 | Information Technology
22.07.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
22.07.2016 | Life Sciences