Following TV programmes together can benefit your relationship

Posted on September 5, 2017

The benefits of consuming films and TV together may be especially apparent for couples who lack a shared world of real friends and family members, with the fictional characters serving a surrogate role. Writing in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, Gomillion and her colleagues said “Humans have created shared social experiences through narrative and performance long before the advent of modern media. Our findings support the growing evidence that like other forms of narrative, contemporary media benefits people by providing a rich, psychologically meaningful social world.”

The researchers asked 259 students in an exclusive romantic relationship (the average length was 16 months) to fill out questionnaires about the quality of their relationship, how many friends they shared with their partner, and how much time they spent watching TV shows or films, or reading books, together.

The participants who said they shared more friends with their partner tended to rate their relationship more positively, as did those who said they spent more time consuming TV, films and/or books together. In fact, much as would like these new results to justifying sharing TV box sets with my wife, the new evidence for it being beneficial is weak, being entirely correlational in nature. The researchers acknowledged as much – “A critical next step for future research is to explore the potential benefits of media for relationships by directly manipulating sharing media with a partner,” they concluded.

Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from British Psychological Society

Mental Health News