Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Personal TV Experiment From 1969

This family were used in an experiment to determine the effects brought about by each member having their own television set. Psychologists were interested in whether the ability to privately view what they wanted would influence their relationship to each other and if communication between all would increase or decrease during the 7-day period. They did not know that they were predicting a future in which it would  be common for family members to isolate themselves in the medium of their choice, thus bringing peace and harmony in the home through separation via engagement with computer games, PCs, TVs, mobile phones etc. 

When analysed the results showed an increased tolerance on behalf of each family member towards the other once personal engagement via conversation was reduced by 70%. Each one said they were happier not to have to either think up subjects of conversation or listen to the thoughts and problems of others. Older members showed initial reluctance to accept this way of life but ultimately conceded that they were happier being able to watch The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour without interruptions from the young ones. Unfortunately, grandma died of a heart attack one evening and nobody noticed until the networks closed down for the night. 

Once returned to normality tensions between them increased and arguments were more common than before. The family begged to be allowed to keep their TV sets but were refused. The youngest members would, however, find themselves able to permanently relive the experiment when they became adults with children of their own. 

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