YOU would hardly think the discovery that the earlier boys are exposed to TV the worse they do in IQ tests is a ground-breaking research finding. It was, however, so reported in the Times last week in an article telling us that ‘trash TV turns off intelligence in boys’.
Though wise parents assume this and accordingly control their children’s exposure (for this and behavioural reasons), it has proved difficult to demonstrate the connection.
But thanks to the scientific ‘control’ setting offered by the introduction of cable TV to isolated parts of Norway, researchers have finally been able to measure its impact on IQ. For each year that the subjects’ home town had full coverage, IQ dropped by 0.08 points and the men were 0.33 per cent less likely to complete school. Thus the long-held suspicion that TV makes children stupider was finally confirmed (and an explanation offered for the strange phenomenon of the West’s declining IQ).
The researchers suggest the possible mechanism involved – more common sense – is that the more television children watch, the less they read.
Roald Dahl, who didn’t need research to tell him this, implored parents to throw away their TVs. Now that there is no remnant doubt, should they? Discuss!