This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Can Television Make You Smarter? Essay

1499 words - 6 pages

In Steven Johnson's article "Watching TV Makes You Smarter" he discusses the intellectual merits of television programs. The essence of Johnson's argument is that the complexity of certain current shows can get one to think at a higher cognitive level, and that shows have become more "cognitively demanding"of their viewers over the past few decades. Johnson's argument, that is in favor of watching quality television and the benefits that one can get from it, is reinforced by some good points the author makes. Johnson is effective in his argument and was very convincing. Viewing certain television programs can in fact benefit one's cognitive capacities, especially in children.
Johnson article effectively states that watching programs such as "Hill Street Blues", "24", and "Lost" can make one smarter because they require a lot of thinking on the part of the viewer. Johnson asserts, that when watching these programs "you have to focus to follow the plot, and in focusing you're exercising the parts of your brain that map social networks, that fill in missing information, that connect multiple narrative threads"(228). He believes that shows have come a long way in past years, explaining that shows from the 30-40 years ago were not as complex as are some of the shows on television these days. In his article, he explains that shows from decades past, such as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "All in the Family" essentially did all the thinking for you. In those shows the plot was spelled out for you, and watching them required little brain function, whereas shows today require much more mental participation from the viewer. Similar to reading, when watching complex television shows you can gain "cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads." (227)
Amongst different groups of people the debate of the intellectual merits of television can be a hot topic. When discussing the topic online this week with fellow classmates, I noticed that some people indeed have strong feelings on the issue. In his article, Johnson talks about how some people only observe the negative aspects of shows like "24". Some people criticize the show's writers, producers, and even the show's viewers because of the violent themes. Some don't realize how the complex story lines require the viewer to "... pay attention, make inferences, and track shifting social relationships"(229). I have seen how some people on the discussion board may have misinterpreted Johnson's article and overlooked his main points.
From my experiences as a parent, I have learned that most parents of young children always tend to have strong feelings on the topic as well. I find that there are some parents that let their children watch television and praise the positive benefits, while there are some parents that refuse to let their children watch any television, even educational shows. Myself, as a parent, I believe that...

Find Another Essay On Can Television Make You Smarter?

What about thouse peanut butter and jelly's, all about the best peanut butter and jelly that you can make

539 words - 2 pages one, and I'm going to tell you how to make one just the way I like it.One of the most important parts of any sandwich is the bread. There are all kinds of bread, and, remember, the bread makes the sandwich. You can use any type of bread on any sandwich, but there is always that one, you know the one that mixes so good that you just close your eyes and chew real slow trying to savor every moment. For example, a turkey sandwich on tomato basil bread

Smaller snacks can make you feel good

1053 words - 5 pages Nuts to you! No, that’s not associate insult. It’s a recommendation to feature whacky to your diet for the sake of your health and longevity. Consistent proof for the health advantages of whacky has been accumulating since the first Nineteen Nineties. Frequent nut consumption has been joined to a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, as well as heart and vas disorders and sort a pair of polygenic disorder. The newest and most convincing

Expository Essay, how students can make you think

599 words - 2 pages My favorite teacher was Janet D. in elementary school. Her classroom consisted of dark green wa1ls, brown hardwood floors, wooden chairs and alphabet letters around the room. There were pictures of presidents hanging on the walls. I can still remember the smell of chalk, pencils and erasers. The teacher's desk had a globe on top, and an American flag hung from the chalkboard. There were many things about Janet D. that I remember, her ability to


1512 words - 7 pages make a relationship with disabled children and with non disabled children. Having friends for a disabled child can help him or her to overcome different obstacles and break several barriers. Disabled children are usually shy and unconfident, therefor they are in the need of changing these behaviors and to defeat stumbling blocks. Playing and useful activities can be as using coloring sheets, story books, and full playgrounds settings

The War of 1812 Comment: I have at the bottom my opinion you can edit that if you want and just make it the conclusion paragraph

820 words - 3 pages The War of 1812The years following the war of 1812, otherwise known as the 'Era of Good Feelings,' must be considered a time of exceptional growth and development in the United States, but above all it should be considered a time of evolution and ripening of American nationalism, unification, and economic progress. The War of 1812 was a very difficult war. States did not fulfill their duties to support the war effort. As a result, commanders and

"The real interest in Medea is that Euripides can make Medea so appalling without losing our sympathy for her." How far would you agree with this comment?

715 words - 3 pages play "To Jason she was all obedience" gives an indication of Medea's dedication to her family. Jason's betrayal from the family she worked so faithfully to form raises the anger of a "woman scorned". His breaking of the "oath of marriage" can provoke no greater fury than that of Medea's passion towards her husband and children. The suffering she endures in her grief over Jason's decision to abandon their family is overwhelming. As Jason insults her

Watching TV: The Electronic Professor

1395 words - 6 pages always frowned upon anyone watching television. Since television makes viewers smarter, instead of being afraid of television this generation of television viewers need to embrace the benefits that come from watching television. In a sense it is exactly the same as reading a novel because as a viewer you need to pay close attention, remember characters, and connect multiple threads. Those television fanatics out there who have ever been disciplined because of watching television can now tell everyone the truth about television that it is truly an intellectually stimulating experience.

Three Research Ideas

638 words - 3 pages explore this topic because after hearing bad reviews and studies, video games should have a chance to prove that it can provide excellent skills. This can lead to changing video games by making game makers realize that it is important to continue creating a positive effect on society. Overall, this topic caught my interest and I wanted to know more information about how video games can make an individual smarter.

TV in the 21st Century: Cognitive Malignancy or Brainpower?

931 words - 4 pages day television, very few people would argue against just how far it has come. However, technological advancements aside, has a new generation of televised programs altered so much that they can actually promote cognitive health? In his 2005 essay, Watching TV Makes You Smarter, Steven Johnson argues that modern television programs—at least in greater number—have the ability to improve an individual's cognitive functioning. Johnson explains

A Modern Occupation: Television at work

834 words - 4 pages myself, would argue. Steven Johnson’s article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” argues that the complexity of TV in the twentieth century in fact makes you smarter. Through a didactic tone, evidence such as dialog and charts, and stating what we need to change, Johnson’s article is a credible source for an academic research paper. Steven Johnson develops a didactic tone that allows for his article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” to be a credible


550 words - 2 pages their mental condition.Children watching any violent acts have more tendency to develop violent behaviour. A book named "Stop teaching our Kids to Kill " will give more information on how violent TV shows, violent movies and video game affect the mental condition of kids.In conclusion, there are both, advantages and disadvantages, of watching television. And disadvantages are more for the children's. So if you have kids, make sure you are very careful regarding various things like: what they are watching, how much time they spend watching T.V., don't allow them to watch too much of cartoons and scary shows, they should not affect their eyesight and stuff like that.

Similar Essays

Can Video Games Make You Smarter?

1147 words - 5 pages Video games can be a fun escape from reality although they’re often interpreted as violent, lazy, and a waste of time by some people. So the question is: can video games actually make you smarter? Video games can improve functions of the brain linked to memory, strategic planning, and increase hand-eye coordination. (Guarini) The video games in question are not the hours-on-end kind of games, because too much of anything is bad; even with

Methods To Increase Fluid Intelligence In "Can You Make Yourself Smarter? By Dan Hurley

757 words - 4 pages "Can You Make Yourself Smarter? Written by Dan Hurley first published in 2011 in The New York Times newspaper described ways to increase fluid intelligence, which allows people to manipulate data and solve problems. The article was effective because of the use of examples to help readers relate to research that many would otherwise find boring. The author starts the article out with a scene at an elementary school where classes of

Does Watching Television Makes You Smarter?

1333 words - 5 pages convinced that watching television has a negative impact on today's society. The question is “Do watching television make people smarter? You might well be surprised that watching television can actually make you smarter but that would be depending on the television show that the viewer spends their time watching.

It Is A Dialogue Essay Meant To Show That You Can Make A Dialogue Essay

893 words - 4 pages rolled my eyes, because Tony always does this to me. How did he get drinks, and what girls is he talking about?"I think that I'll pass Tony," I said assumingly."Common Brian; Erica is over here! You know how much you like her. Ha ha." Tony said with enthusiasm. I sat up in my bed in an instant. Does he actually think that Erica will make me come over and why is she hanging out with Tony? I am going to kill Tony if he told Erica that I like her. If