A 30-year study found that happy people read more books, newspapers and socialise more, while unhappy people watch more television.
“TV doesn”t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading does,” said University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author and a pioneer in time-use studies (that appeared in the December 2008 issue of the journal Social Indicators Research /ANI). “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise,” he added. During the study, the researchers analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (1975-2006) gathered from nearly 30,000 adults. It showed that unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people. The unhappy people were also more likely to feel they have unwanted extra time on their hands (51 percent) compared to very happy people (19 percent) and to feel rushed for time (35 percent vs. 23 percent). Read more about this study