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Unhappy people watch more TV, study finds

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    Unhappy people watch more TV, study finds By JOEL HOOD Chicago Tribune Wednesday, November 19, 2008
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2008
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      Unhappy people watch more TV, study finds
      By JOEL HOOD
      Chicago Tribune
      Wednesday, November 19, 2008
      http://www.ajc.com/health/content/health/stories/2008/11/19/TV_depress
      ion.html


      Does this season of "Survivor" have you down in the dumps?
      Is "Dancing with the Stars" not doing it for you anymore?

      Here's some sobering news for couch potatoes: A 30-year study of
      television habits published in the December issue of scientific
      journal Social Indicators Research suggests that unhappy people watch
      considerably more TV, vote less, read fewer newspapers and are
      generally less socially active than happier people.

      While some of that may not be breaking news, the study's authors took
      particular interest in how happiness shaped TV viewing.

      The University of Maryland researchers noted that TV is more popular
      than many other free-time activities, considering that viewers don't
      have to leave the comfort of their homes, dress up, plan ahead or
      expend much energy at all. Perhaps it's not surprising that TV takes
      up more than half of Americans' free time.

      The study indicated that unhappy people watch about 20 percent more
      television than very happy people, after factoring in their
      education, income, age and marital status.

      What's still unclear, researchers said, is whether watching TV is a
      symptom or a cause of unhappiness.

      But while viewers said TV was enjoyable in the short run, they rated
      their overall satisfaction as low — meaning that even they recognized
      what a big waste of time it can be.

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