The following end notes accompany our article, “Are The Arts The Answer to Our TV Obsession?” published on February 22, 2016:


(1) What we mean when we say “watching TV”
When we talk about hours of television watched, we’re talking about self-reported hours; in other words, the amount of time an individual themselves assesses they watch TV, regardless of whether they’re fully focused on the program or it’s on in the background.


(2) On TV and kids’ health
Although this article focuses on adults, it’s worth noting that the health concerns about TV and its impact on physical health extend, of course, to children. One study finds that high-school-aged children who watch more than 3 to 4 hours of television per day are 36% more likely to report eating less than five fruits or vegetables per day, and 56% more likely to be overweight than their peers who watch less than two hours daily. Another suggests that low-income parents in particular may face stressors related to chronic financial hardship, like poor mental health or food insecurity, and that these stressors may influence their views of the importance of restricting screen time. This, in turn, may impact their children’s screen usage.

(3) On our regression analysis
The General Social Survey (GSS) is a representative, national survey covering attitudinal, social, and demographic topics in the United States. In 2012, the GSS included a module asking respondents questions about their cultural participation. As we began our investigation, we wondered how arts attendance and television viewing would predict subjective wellbeing. We used data from the General Social Survey to descriptively explore the following questions:

  1. Holding income, condition of health, education level, gender, age, job satisfaction, and social engagements with friends and family constant, how does arts attendance and television predict wellbeing?
  2. Using these same covariates, is there a difference in how television and arts attendance predicts wellbeing for respondents at different income quartiles?

We used logistic regression analysis to descriptively explore these questions, the results of which are linked here for all income levels and here for income quartiles. Our dependent variable was respondents’ determination of how satisfied they are with their lives in response to the prompt below, where Strongly Disagree, Disagree, and Neither Agree nor Disagree were considered unsatisfied and Agree or Strongly Agree were considered satisfied.

(Please tell me on a scale of 1 to 5 how much you agree or
disagree with the following statements about your life. 1 means
strongly disagree and 5 means strongly agree.)

I am satisfied with my life.

Covariates included respondents’ assessment of their own health, household income level, age, gender, how often the respondent interacts with friends and relatives, job satisfaction, and education level. Note that because health was included as a control, the regression analysis measures the effect of TV on life satisfaction independent of its effects on health. However, since health does have a strong relationship to life satisfaction on its own, if TV makes people less healthy, it will presumably also make them less satisfied with their life.

(4) On our anecdotal interviews
In order to hear the stories and better understand the viewing choices of low-SES adults who watch large amounts of television, Createquity interviewed nine individuals who self-identified as not having graduated college and reported watching at least five hours of TV a day. We recruited interviewees primarily by posting ads on craigslist in large cities like Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago, as well as in cities and small towns throughout the United States. . Interviewees were paid a small honorarium for their time. All respondents were women, and most had children at home. This portion of the investigation had two goals: 1) to add nuance and resonance to our findings from the literature review; and 2) to explore topics that were not addressed directly in the published research, such as reasoning behind viewing choices and the relationship between television viewing and arts participation.

FULL BIBLIOGRAPHY

The following sources were consulted during the development of this article:

Bowman, S. (2006). Television-viewing characteristics of adults: correlations to eating practices and overweight and health status. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16539779

Bruni, L., & Stanca, L. (2008). Watching Alone: Relational goods, television, and happiness. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 65(3-4), 506–528. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268106002095

Cardwell, S. (2014). Television Amongst Friends: Medium, Art, Media. Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies, 9(3), 6–21. Retrieved from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/manup/cstv/2014/00000009/00000003/art00002

Dempsey, P., Howard, B., Lynch, B., Owen, N., & Dunstan, D. W. (2014). Associations of television viewing time with adults’ well-being and vitality. Preventative Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25230366

Dunstan, D., Barr, E., Healy, G., Shaw, J., Balkau, B., Magliano, D., Owen, N. (2010). Television viewing time and mortality: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation, 121(3), 384–91. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20065160

Frey, Bruno S., Christine Benesch, and Alois Stutzer. 2007. “Does Watching TV Make Us Happy?” Journal of Economic Psychology 28: 283–313. Retrieved from https://www.bsfrey.ch/articles/459_07.pdf

Guetzkow, J. (2002). How the Arts Impact Communities: An Introduction to the Literature on Arts Impact Studies (Working Paper Series No. 20). Taking the Measure of Culture Conference: Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Retrieved from https://www.princeton.edu/~artspol/workpap/WP20%20-%20Guetzkow.pdf

Gupta, V., Nwosa, N., Nadel, T., & Inamdar, S. (2001). Externalizing behaviors and television viewing in children of low-income minority parents. Clinical Pediatrics, 40(6), 337–41. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11824177

Harlow, B. (2015). Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics (Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences). New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/strategies-for-expanding-audiences/Documents/Staying-Relevant-in-a-Changing-Neighborhood-How-Fleisher-Art-Memorial-is-Adapting-to-Shifting-Community-Demographics.pdf

Harlow, B., & Cox Roman, C. (2015). Someone Who Speaks Their Language: How a Nontraditional Partner Brought New Audiences to Minnesota Opera (Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences). New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/strategies-for-expanding-audiences/Documents/Someone-Who-Speaks-Their-Language.pdf

Harlow, B., & Heywood, T. (2015a). Getting Past “It’s Not For People Like Us”: Pacific Northwest Ballet Builds a Following with Teens and Young Adults (Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences). Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/strategies-for-expanding-audiences/Documents/Getting-Past-Its-Not-For-People-Like-Us.pdf

Harlow, B., & Heywood, T. (2015b). Opening New Doors: Hands-on Participation Brings a New Audience to a Clay Studio (Wallace Studies in Building Arts Audiences). New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/audience-development-for-the-arts/strategies-for-expanding-audiences/Documents/Opening-New-Doors-Hands-On-Participation-Brings-a-New-Audience-to-The-Clay-Studio.pdf

Hendriks Vettehen, P., Konig, R. P., Westerik, H., & Beentjes, H. (2012). Explaining television choices: The influence of parents and partners. Poetics, 40(6), 565–585. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304422X12000605

Hoang, T. D., Reis, J., Zhu, N., Jacobs, D. R., Launer, L. J., Whitmer, R. A., … Yaffe, K. (2015). Effect of Early Adult Patterns of Physical Activity and Television Viewing on Midlife Cognitive Function. JAMA Psychiatry. Retrieved from http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2471270

Horvath, C. W. (n.d.). Measuring Television Addiction. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48(3). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15506878jobem4803_3?journalCode=hbem20#.Vji50KL88gg

Jacobs, J., & Peacock, S. (2014). Editorial: “The Liveliest Medium”: Television’s Aesthetic Relationships With Other Arts. Critical Studies in Television, 9(3), 1–5. Retrieved from https://www.icahdq.org/pubs/Calls/liveliestmedium.asp

Jakes, R., Day, N., Luben, R., Oakes, S., Welch, A., Bingham, S., & Wareham, N. (2003). Television viewing and low participation in vigorous recreation are independently associated with obesity and markers of cardiovascular disease risk: EPIC-Norfolk population-based study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(9), 1089–96. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12947427

Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2006). Would You Be Happier if You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion. Science, 312(5782), 1908–1910. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/312/5782/1908.short

Kataria, M., & Regner, T. (2011). A Note on the Relationship Between Television Viewing and Individual Happiness. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 40(1), 53–58. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535710000892

Kearney, Melissa S., and Phillip B. Levine. 2015. “Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street.” NBER Working Paper. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w21229

Kearney, Melissa Schettini, and Phillip B. Levine. 2012. “Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States so High and Why Does It Matter?” NBER Working Paper. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w17965

Lampard, A., Jurkowski, J., & Davison, K. (2012). Social-cognitive predictors of low-income parents’ restriction of screen time among preschool-aged children. Health Education & Behavior: The Official Publication Of The Society For Public Health Education, 40(5), 526–30. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23239766

Lee, B., & Lee, R. S. (1995). How and Why People Watch TV: Implications for the Future of Interactive Television: Implications for the Future of Interactive Television. Journal of Advertising Research, 35(6). Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/242362719_How_and_why_people_watch_TV_Implications_for_the_future_of_interactive_television

Livingstone, S. (1998). Making Sense of Television: The Psychology of Audience Interpretation (Second). Routledge. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=0iIbwhcu1r4C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

McCoy, C. A., & Scarborough, R. C. (2014). Watching “bad” television: Ironic consumption, camp, and guilty pleasures. Poetics, 47, 41–59. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304422X14000576

Muennig, P., Rosen, Z., & Johnson, G. (2013). Do the Psychological Risks Associated with Television Viewing Increase Mortality? Evidence from the 2008 General Social Survey – National Death Index dataset. Annals of Epidemiology, 23(6), 355–360. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662979/

Robinson, J. P., & Martin, S. (2008). What do Happy People Do? Social Indicators Research, 89(3), 565–571. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11205-008-9296-6

Romer, D., Jamieson, K. H., & Aday, S. (2003). Television News and the Cultivation of Fear of Crime. Journal of Communications, 53(1), 88–104. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2003.tb03007.x/abstract

Rosenstein, C. (2005). Diversity and Participation in the Arts: Insights from the Bay Area. The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/alfresco/publication-pdfs/311252-Diversity-and-Participation-in-the-Arts.PDF

Schneider, L. (2013). A Note on Income Aspirations, Television, and Happiness. Kyklos, 66(2), 301–305. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/kykl.12022/abstract

Shuval, K., Gabriel, K. P., & Leonard, T. (2013). TV Viewing and BMI by Race/Ethnicity and Socio-Economic Status. PLOS. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063579

Simons, N. (2015). TV drama as a social experience: An empirical investigation of the social dimensions of watching TV drama in the age of non-linear television. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 40(2), 219–236. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/279280934_TV_drama_as_a_social_experience_An_empirical_investigation_of_the_social_dimensions_of_watching_TV_drama_in_the_age_of_non-linear_television

Stevens, L. K. (1996). Motivating opera attendance : comparative qualitative research in 10 North American cities, 1996. Washington, D.C.: ArtsMarket Consulting. Retrieved from http://www.worldcat.org/title/motivating-opera-attendance-comparative-qualitative-research-in-10-north-american-cities-1996/oclc/35633527

Sussman, S., & Moran, M. B. (2013). Hidden addiction: Television. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 2(3), 125–132. Retrieved from http://www.akademiai.com/doi/pdf/10.1556/JBA.2.2013.008

Thompson, D., Matson, P., & Ellen, J. (2013). Television viewing in low-income latino children: variation by ethnic subgroup and English proficiency. Childhood Obesity, 9(1), 22–8. Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/chi.2012.0113

Uslaner, E. M. (1998). Social Capital, Television, and the “Mean World”: Trust, Optimism, and Civic Participation. Political Psychology, 19(3), 441–467. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3792173

van der Goot, M., Beentjes, J. W. J., & van Selm, M. (2015). Older adults’ television viewing as part of selection and compensation strategies. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 40(1), 93–111. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/277930457_Older_adults_television_viewing_as_part_of_selection_and_compensation_strategies

Wheeler, K. S. (2015). The relationships Between Television Viewing, Behaviors, Attachment, Loneliness, Depression, and Psychological Well-Being (Undergraduate Honors Thesis). Georgia Southern University, Georgia. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/honors-theses/98/

World Health Organization. (2012). Social Determinants of Health and Well-Being Among Young People. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/163857/Social-determinants-of-health-and-well-being-among-young-people.pdf

Xu, J., Forman, C., Kim, J. B., & Van Ittersum, K. (2014). News Media Channels: Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from Mobile Phone Usage. Journal of Marketing, 78(4), 97–112. Retrieved from http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jm.13.0198