彭蒙惠英语：20110124 MP3在线课程 Is TV Causing Our Reactions to Boil Over?
Is TV Causing Our Reactions to Boil Over?
by Sharon Jayson c 2010, USA TODAY International. Distributed by Tribune Media Services International.
Some experts think there may be a link between TV and our emotional responses
Marcie Fenster knows the reality TV shows she watches are purely for entertainment. She doesn't take them seriously and knows they're not that real.
She also knows the political pundits on cable TV, and even Sunday morning news programs, can get agitated. She's well aware that some of the ranting she sees is purely theatrical.
"My thought is probably the producers are encouraging the real highs and the real lows so the viewership will stay," says Fenster, 57, of Maryland. "I think most people I come in contact with they know this isn't the way to behave."
Like Fenster, most of us know the "out-there" reactions we see on reality and cable TV are largely for effect. But behavioral researchers say we may be more affected than we realize.
The fact that there's much more exposure to all kinds of media today just may alter our sense of emotional norms so exaggerated responses seem normal, some experts say.
"People can be seduced into thinking that's the most common way of reacting to life, when it's not," says Roderick Hart, a professor of communication studies and government at the University of Texas-Austin. Because of this "tutoring" of emotions, Hart says, people are becoming culturally conditioned to think "it's OK to be more overreactive."
"Reality television has hyped all the emotions. You can't just be happy. You have to be ecstatic. You can't be upset. You have to be violently angry," he says.
One example is the flak President Barack Obama took for not displaying enough anger at BP's failure to stop the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He has been called "No Drama Obama," and a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed his job approval ratings down.