Finally, someone did this study. Listen, anyone could have postulated this, but thanks to this study there is some proof behind the claim.

The study was setup so volunteers read a fake screenplay about a man named Meier. In it he wakes up, meets his friends at a bar to get drunk, and then goes to a soccer game. At the game, he gets in to a fight and then comes home to crash. Switch soccer game for nightclub and what do you get? Snooki’s typical day. Some of the volunteers read the longer version of the story, while others read a shorter version. The control group read a boring version where Meier does not do anything stupid. Afterwards they were given a multiple choice test with several hard questions such as: ‘What is the capital of Libya? And who painted La Guernica?’ Needless to say the control group scored best, while the volunteers who read the longest story did the worst.

The effect on our minds is called media priming- the idea that what we watch or listen to affects our emotions and behavior. And wouldn’t you know it, this is the first study done where media priming actually did affect cognitive performance.

Can you recall a time where a TV show, movie, or song influenced your emotions or actions?

What does this say about the quality of our programming?

Should we at least have the responsibility to show programming that does not make us dumber?