New scientific studies by political scientists at Ohio State University reveal that people who regularly watch crime dramas like NYPD Blue are more likely to deem crime as the top problem in this country. These concerns then inform the viewers' opinions of President Bush. Meanwhile, hospital shows like ER seem to impact viewers' opinions about health care. (Paging Dr. Welby!)
(Researcher R. Andrew) Holbrook noted that some observers have been especially concerned about programs like The Daily Show, which has elements of news and entertainment. Some believe that such shows might be confusing to viewers.Link
“That’s not the real issue,” Holbrook said. “Our results suggest that people don’t have neat dividing lines in their brains between entertainment and political news.
“People go back and forth between the two rather easily. That doesn’t mean they don’t know the difference between entertainment and reality. But they find they can use examples from television programs to illustrate points in real life.”
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.