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Is Watching Shows Like ‘Jersey Shore’ Making You Dumber?

Jersey Shore
Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

What is the old saying, birds of a feather flock together? I am not saying that by watching a show like “Jersey Shore” you are suddenly going to become Italian but could the entire reality show genre be playing a part in the dumbing down of America? Published studies would have you believe that fact.

In a study conducted in Austria participants were asked to read two different stories about the same man. In one story the man, gets drunk, goes to a sporting event and gets into a fight. In the other story he has a more mundane and average day.

After reading each story participants were given a test of basic knowledge. Those that read the story of the man behaving badly, as in a Jersey Shore episode, scored considerably lower than those that read the more mundane story.

We all like to think we are the masters of our own actions and that outside influences such TV shows and witty, charming, stimulating radio hosts have no effect on our thoughts.

The truth is all of these things influence your next thought and hence your next action. Maybe seeing people behaving badly secretly gives your subconscious mind permission to do the same?

I know that at our house when the TV is turned off for a week school work improves, grades get better and children’s behavior is vastly improved. What do you think about this theory that watching shows like “Jersey Shore” are making those that watch a little less intelligent? In  your opinion, what is the dumbest show on television?

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