A new study from the University of Michigan suggests television shows and movies may affect their audience's perception of romance.
Researchers asked 625 college students ((233 men and 392 women) how often they watched 93 different romantic movies including "500 Days of Summer," "Crazy Stupid Love" and "In Time" and 17 different sitcoms such as "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory," and asked the respondents to fill out a survey assessing "their exposure to marriage-themed reality shows, such as 'The Bachelor' and 'Millionaire Matchmaker.'"
Their intent? To study the hypothesis that "the media may be teaching us what sorts of beliefs we should have about romantic relationships," said Julia Lippman, the study's lead author, who is a postdoc at the U-M Department of Psychology.
"It is possible that frequent exposure to romance and courtship in this idealized form could lead viewers to adopt equally idealized notions about relationships in the real world," she added.