How well can you read people? Can you read the emotions of those around you, when they choose to stay clammed up? Do you understand the various emotions a person could be feeling at different times? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations!
So, what increases the emotional intelligence in youngsters? One of the most important sources is the “Idiot Box!” Yes, you read it right. It has been proved in several studies that watching emotional dramas on television can increase one’s emotional awareness. Let us take a look at how this happens.
Increase In empathy
Babies learn to emote by watching people they are in constant proximity with. Youngsters also learn a lot by observing people around them, their circumstances etc. It is a known fact that serials on television carry a good amount of emotional drama. The story may revolve around family members and their problems, friendships gone sour, rekindled love, loss, grief and more. Watching such stories and studying the coping mechanisms of the characters in the story, gives courage and confidence to people stuck in similar situations. Particularly for youngsters, as they are still exploring the world. And each experience carries a lesson to be learnt. Watching emotional stories on television can increase their emotional intelligence considerably, enabling them to read emotions in a better way.
Studies which support this finding
Two years ago, a research concluded that reading literary fiction can help us understand the inner lives of other people. Recently, a finding says that watching emotional dramas (Fiction) can increase the emotional intelligence in people.
In one study, 116 student participants were randomly assigned to watch a full, 46 minute episode of the Good Wife or Lost, or a documentary that received a similar level of critical acclaim (Is time travel possible? Or Colosseum: Roman Death Trap, part of the PBS series NOVA). In addition, this study had a control group of 60 people who took this test without watching any program.
The participants who had watched fictional shows scored higher than those who had watched documentaries.
Increased use of the Mind
When youngsters watch an intensely emotional serial, they start thinking about each character deeply. Then they try to place different scenarios for each character to try and find a solution to the dilemma. This mental work that they indulge in, prepares them in life to learn about different emotions and the way to address them. These dramas aid in their thinking process. When they find themselves in situations similar to that of what they have been watching and learning, they can deal with it in a better manner.
Learning is of various forms. Reading and writing are some of them. Visual representation of situations helps in thinking better. It is no wonder then, that today’s youth prefers watching emotional dramas on television.