LOS ANGELES—Researchers at the USC Center for the Study of Television announced Monday that a new report points toward a drastically impaired response to real-world dramatic incidents among America's habitual television viewers. "We found that a majority of viewers who watch a normal amount of television—between 32 and 56 hours a week—were relatively unmoved by such personal traumas as divorce, financial disaster, or the death of a child, compared with their reactions to similar events on television," said Dr. Fernando Alonso, whose team conducted the study. "Respondents consistently said that predicaments they'd seen play out on House were worse than their loved ones' bouts with emphysema, and that they had experienced greater rejection over unrequited love during Grey's Anatomy than they had in their own lives." Alonso said the study, performed on adults over the age of 21, does not necessarily contradict an earlier report that found children who witnessed drama on TV were more likely to commit drama themselves.
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