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Gareth Cook

TV’s sleeper effect

Misinformation on television gains power with time

By Gareth Cook
Globe Columnist / October 30, 2011

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The nation’s pediatricians recently warned that children under two should not be allowed to watch television. All the science suggests that screen time is not good for their developing brains. But there is new research showing that television is potentially dangerous for people of all ages. When someone watches a television drama that stretches the facts, a new study found, the misinformation gains power with time. Initially, we may be skeptical but weeks later, the false information seems to disconnect from its source in our mind. And at that point, we start believing it’s true.

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