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Does watching TV make us happy?


Frey, Bruno S; Benesch, Christine; Stutzer, Alois (2007). Does watching TV make us happy? Journal of Economic Psychology, 28(3):283-313.

Abstract

Watching TV is a major human activity. Because of its immediate benefits at negligible immediate marginal costs it is for many people tempting to view TV rather than to pursue more engaging activities. As a consequence, individuals with incomplete control over, and foresight into, their own behavior watch more TV than they consider optimal for themselves and their well-being is lower than what could be achieved. We find that heavy TV viewers, and in particular those with significant opportunity cost of time, report lower life satisfaction. Long TV hours are also linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety.

Watching TV is a major human activity. Because of its immediate benefits at negligible immediate marginal costs it is for many people tempting to view TV rather than to pursue more engaging activities. As a consequence, individuals with incomplete control over, and foresight into, their own behavior watch more TV than they consider optimal for themselves and their well-being is lower than what could be achieved. We find that heavy TV viewers, and in particular those with significant opportunity cost of time, report lower life satisfaction. Long TV hours are also linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety.

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48 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:June 2007
Deposited On:08 Apr 2008 09:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-4870
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.joep.2007.02.001
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2324

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