Health TV Brain

Published on October 11th, 2013 | by I Am Awake


Your brain waves change when you watch TV

In an experiment in 1969, Herbert Krugman monitored a person through many trials and found that in less than one minute of television viewing, the person’s brainwaves switched from Beta waves – brain waves associated with active, logical thought – to primarily Alpha waves. When the subject stopped watching television and began reading a magazine, the brainwaves reverted to Beta waves.

One thing this indicates is that most parts of the brain, parts responsible for logical thought, tune out during television viewing. The impact of television viewing on one person’s brain state is obviously not enough to conclude that the same consequences apply to everyone; however, research involving many others, completed in the years following Krugman’s experiment, has repeatedly shown that watching television produces brainwaves in the low Alpha range.

Advertisers have known about this for a long time and they know how to take advantage of this passive, suggestible, brain state of the TV viewer. There is no need for an advertiser to use subliminal messages. The brain is already in a receptive state, ready to absorb suggestions, within just a few seconds of the television being turned on. All advertisers have to do is flash a brand across the screen, and then attempt to make the viewer associate the product with something positive.

Implications for those with ADD and ADHD:

Most people would benefit from cutting television time; in addition, research has shown that people with ADD or ADHD tend to have too much Alpha, Theta, and Delta wave activity and, therefore, would benefit significantly from a reduction in TV. Television certainly contributes to a reduced ability to concentrate for anyone, but especially those who already have an overabundance of Alpha waves.”


From 1967 to his retirement in 1983, Herbert E. Krugman was manager of corporate public opinion research at the General Electric Company. He was previously research vice president for Marplan, for Ted Bates Advertising, and for the industrial design firm of Raymond Loewy. Dr. Krugman received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1952 and his B.S.S. from CCNY in 1942. He is past-president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, of the Division of Comsumer Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and of the Market Research Council of New York. He has served on the faculties of Yale, Princeton and Columbia Universities and has been a trustee of the Marketing Science Institute in Cambridge, a director of the Advertising Research Foundation and chairman of the Research Policy Committee of the Association of National Advertisers

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