Steven Johnson Watching Tv Makes You Smarter Analysis

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In ‘Watching TV makes you smarter’ Steven Johnson argues that even though popular culture perceived television to be bad and unhealthy for decades, however these shows are actually providing a cognitive workout for viewers due to the development of TV show narratives. Johnson focuses heavily on what he calls the most important developmental force referred to as the “sleeper curve”. The meaning of the term was explained by Johnson: to keep up with entertainment like the popular TV show known as 24, you have to pay attention, make inferences, and track shifting social relationships (Johnson, 279). The concept of sleeper curve is simply that as time passes, TV shows increase in cognitive complexity. Popular culture for decades believed that watching…show more content…
Episodes of Hill Street Blues had storylines and plots that picked up and retrieved information from previous episodes, something other shows during that time (Starsky and Hutch) didn’t do. This was a new way to watch TV and it kept viewers watching as plots and characters unfolded over the course of several…show more content…
The example pictured a camera zooming in on a door knob to show that it is unlocked, and to further mock this style the parody showed a flashing arrow pointing to the doorknob, also then helpfully explaining in text that the door is indeed unlocked. This movie makes narrative hand holding seem like a joke, although these more obvious techniques have died out long ago there are still some subtle hand holding techniques still present to help viewers stay on track when watching a complex show. In a show like E.R. there is nothing but speedy medical jargon being discussed, but at some point there is a quick explanation as to what exactly is going on. Even this point can be difficult to catch so a viewer has to be paying attention, a definite contrast from the pointing arrows that guided and babied viewers back in the day. Johnson goes on to say that even “bad” TV shows such as reality television and other pop culture trends have evolved to becoming cognitively stimulating. Reality TV shows enables us to learn about the participants, figuring out their personalities and weak spots. The greatest gain from reality television is that viewers get to analyze people. There’s an assessment of their relationships, emotions, and conflicts. Stories from reality TV shows are absorbed and everything is applied to real

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