Does TV Affect Your GPA?

Growing up, I was always told not to watch too much TV or not to watch at night. Some friends even had restrictions set by their parents that limited the amount of TV they could watch. As a child, this was not only annoying but also confusing. What harm could Spongebob do? Turns out our parents were right. According to a study by Angela Hershberger, the amount of TV you watch can directly affect your GPA.


Her study observed 50 students at Indiana University at South Bend. All of the students were a part of an entry level psychology class at IUSB. Angela used a survey to gather her data. The survey included questions about demographics, how frequently the subject watched TV, what shows they watched, what shows they watched regularly and their GPA. Students were asked to describe their habits and GPA in both High School and College. Angela’s goal was to find if there was any correlation between watching TV and academic performance.


After analyzing the data, there were some mixed results. There was fairly significant evidence that the number of hours spent watching TV in high school affected high school GPA, but no evidence that TV had any impact on college grades. It was determined that for every additional hour per week spent watching TV in high school subsequently lead to a .03 drop in GPA.


I am not surprised to see the numbers regarding high school students. However, this is a small sample size and it is only one study. Also, having students recall how often they watched TV in the past could result in inaccurate numbers.  I would need to see a larger study in order to make any changes in my lifestyle, but I do think it is fair to say that time spent in the library is more productive than time spent staring at a screen.


Works Cited:

Hershberger, Angela. The “Evils” of Television: The Amount of Television Viewing and School Performance Levels. Dr. Carolyn Schult, 2002. Web. 31 Nov. 2016. <>.

1 thought on “Does TV Affect Your GPA?

  1. Patrick Winch

    Chris- I actually wrote a similar blog post on this matter, and I think one of the most important third variables to look at here is simply how we spend our time. Any student watching TV in his or her free time rather than studying is bound to potentially find themselves with a lower GPA. Many students tend to watch TV before bed, which can also be harmful due to the fact that exposure to light before bed can interfere with sleeping habits. The article attached elaborates on that idea.

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