chapter  5
31 Pages


The effects of entertainment can be examined in much the same way one might examine the effects of a prescription drug. Indeed, some critics even contend that entertainment (such as movies, television, music, and video games) may have drug-like effects. When researchers are testing a new drug, they examine both its intended effects (how well it does what it is supposed to do-e.g., relieve a headache, clear up acne, or cure an infection) as well potential, unintentional side effects (e.g., nausea, weight gain, sun sensitivity, and so on). Researchers have examined effects of entertainment, particularly media entertainment, in a similar manner, often relying on methods and techniques similar to those used in medical research.