Study: Happy people watch less TV, have more sex

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November 13th, 2008

A new study from Springer (no relation to Jerry) found in a 30 year analysis that, surprise, happy people watch less television than unhappy people.

The study is somewhat more obsessed with television than other factors because other surveys and data point to TV being good for general happiness, which even the study seems to conclude is actually true in the short run. But In the end that short-term happiness seems to come at the expense of other things and leads to longer-term unhappiness.

"These conflicting data suggest that TV may provide viewers with short-run pleasure, but at the expense of long-term malaise," said Professor John Robinson. He also noted that earlier general satisfaction surveys also showed people rating TV below average as a significantly less satisfying free-time activity on the whole. "What viewers seem to be saying is that while TV in general is a waste of time and not particularly enjoyable, the shows I saw tonight were pretty good."

The difference between the unhappy people and the very happy people in the study amounted to a difference of 48 minutes per day.

Meanwhile, very happy people had sex 10 times more a year than unhappy people. The difference between being unhappy and "somewhat" happy seemed to be having sex seven times less a year. Both the very happy and the unhappy used the internet more than six hours a week, but the very happy people used it 24 minutes less a week than the unhappy people.

The PDF file on the "What do Happy People Do?" study is available for download.

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