Binge watchers: It’s time to pop out the champagne! There’s now proof that not only does Mad Men have totally steal-able style, but it’s also good for your brain. A new study suggests that people who follow television drama tend to understand complex concepts more thoroughly… meaning Netflix and chill just got smarter.
In a study published in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, one group of participants was asked to watch dramas like The West Wing, Mad Men and The Good Wife. The other group watched television documentaries like Shark Week. While the latter gets touted more often as good old-fashioned educational programming, it turned out that the group that watched the dramas, “performed significantly higher on the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test.'” The Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test assesses your ability to correctly read other people’s emotions by looking at them. The drama group grasped this bit of social intelligence better than the documentary group.
The study suggests that “film narratives, as well as written narratives, may facilitate the understanding of others’ minds,” because they involve complex plots and nuanced characters. If you’ve yet to experience the curative powers of a juicy drama (or the patron saint of hottness that is Christina Hendricks) try binge watching these Netflix picks. It turns out, it might be just what the doctor ordered!
What’s your favorite drama to binge? Let us know in the comments below!
(Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)