No effect of different types of media on well-being

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Description: It is often assumed that traditional forms of media such as books enhance well-being, whereas digital media do not. However, we lack evidence for such claims and media research is mainly focused on how much time people spend with a medium, but not whether someone used a medium or not. We investigated the effect of media use on well-being, differentiating time spent with a medium and use vs. nonuse, over a wide range of different media types: music, TV, films, video games, (e-)books, (digital) magazines, and audiobooks. Results from a six-week longitudinal study representative of the UK population (N = 2,159) showed that effects were generally small; between but rarely within people; mostly for use vs. nonuse and not time spent with a medium; and on affective well-being, not life satisfaction. Together, these results do not support policies intended to encourage or discourage media use because of effects on well-being.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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