All hail the couch potatoes as study proves that 'TV increases intelligence'

Tv child

Television buffs may now have a reason to smile for a new study has found that some TV shows could increase intelligence by helping viewers better understand politics and develop ideas.

Television shows, such as the Simpsons, Lost and 24, help viewers to understand politics and develop ideas, research suggest.

The study carried out jointly by the universities of Surrey in Britain and Illinois in America, examined the ability of 170 viewers in the US, Netherlands and Greece to acquire new political insights and also studied the effects of watching these programmes on the viewer's psyche, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The researchers found that nearly one in four viewers claimed they had a better understanding of political issues after watching the shows.

And nine-in-ten among those questioned said that they had discussed topics from the programmes with friends and family leading them to examine and adapt their own political or ethical stance.

Dr Tereza Capelos, from the University of Surrey, said, "While shows like The Simpsons and Lost may never be seen as educational or mind-expanding, the enjoyment and relaxation they provide can make viewers more receptive to new information and ideas."

The research also suggested that a fifth of viewers consider fictional TV programmes just as believable and reliable as news programmes as sources of information.

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