Feeling like you're not compassionate enough? Try watching a popular TV drama.
A new study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts found people who watch emotional, award-winning TV dramas are more empathetic than those who don't.
Researchers tested this by dividing participants into two groups. One group watched either "Mad Men" or "The West Wing," and the other group watched the non-fiction shows "How the Universe Works" or "Shark Week."
The people who watched the fictional dramas rated higher than those in the non-fiction group on an emotional intelligence test given afterward.
Researchers ran the test again with different dramas ("The Good Wife" and "Lost") and non-fiction shows ("Nova" and "Through the Wormhole"), and the results were the same.
What does this mean? If you want to be a kinder, better person, you should probably skip the documentaries and reality TV and dive headfirst into some fictional drama.
Although more research needs to be conducted before any definitive conclusions can be reached, these findings come at an excellent time.
It's getting cold out there. Who doesn't want to curl up in a cocoon and binge-watch a drama for hours in the name of emotional intelligence?
Binge-watching can also improve your romantic relationships, so there's really no way to lose here.