Scientists think TV may have made Norwegian boys dumber

Scientists think TV may have made Norwegian boys dumberTRONDHEIM.Boys relaxing on the couch watching television..Photo: Gorm Kallestad / SCANPIX

Scientists believe they have found a correlation between  the achievements  of Norwegian boys  on the  ‘IQ tests’  assigned by the Military to those who are liable to be drafted and their access to cable television in childhood.
– We found that the greater the increase in cable television coverage had been the municipality, the more the IQ scores fell for boys, Øystein Hærnes, who is one of the researchers behind the study from Frisch Centre, says to the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.
The development of the cable TV network started in Norway at the beginning of the 1980s. The researchers believe that “lighter entertainment” on the new channels displace other activities such as reading, and that this has affected the boys’ cognitive abilities negatively. For each year with cable tv the boys’ achievements falls with 0.08 IQ points.
– It may seem like small numbers, but most people are exposed to television entertainment over many years, and there are very many who are exposed. This means that the numbers suddenly get quite large,  Hernæs says.
The three researchers also found that one year of cable television access reduces the percentage who complete  their secondary education(videregående) by 0.3 percent. This effect has only been found with  boys.
– Surveys from Statistics Norway show that boys read less as they watch a lot of television. This is less the case with girls. Our hypothesis is thus that the decline in IQ points among boys may be because they simply read less as a result of television viewing, say Hernæs.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today