Positive impacts of television include reading encouragement, enhancement of cultural understanding, the influencing of positive behavior and developing critical thinking skills. TV can encourage people to read by sparking interest in authors whose works have been adapted for TV programs. It can also get people interested in learning more about particular subjects.
Educational TV can help children learn social skills and better understand other cultures. Programs about current events and history can raise awareness of issues faced by people around the world and in different living situations. Such programming exposes children to ideas they may not encounter in their own homes, schools or local areas. Enhanced knowledge of the world helps develop empathy and critical thinking, especially among children. TV can encourage positive behavior by inspiring children to be more creative or more physically active. Research on both positive and negative effects of television typically focuses on children, as of 2014.
U.S. children ages 2 to 5 spent about 32 hours per week watching TV, as of 2010. Children ages 6 to 11 spend around 28 hours per week watching TV. Almost three-quarters of children older than 8 have TVs in their bedrooms. Kids spend about 1.5 more hours watching TV each day when they have a TV in the bedroom. The TV is usually on during meals in most homes, and children in middle school and high school have no rules about TV watching in more than half of U.S. homes.