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Int J Biometeorol. 2011 Jul;55(4):555-64. doi: 10.1007/s00484-010-0366-5. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Weather conditions and daily television use in the Netherlands, 1996-2005.

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Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands.


This study examines the impact of daily atmospheric weather conditions on daily television use in the Netherlands for the period 1996-2005. The effects of the weather parameters are considered in the context of mood and mood management theory. It is proposed that inclement and uncomfortable weather conditions are associated with lower human mood, and that watching entertainment and avoiding informational programs may serve to repair such mood. We consequently hypothesize that people spend more time watching television if inclement and uncomfortable weather conditions (low temperatures, little sunshine, much precipitation, high wind velocity, less daylight) coincide with more airtime for entertainment programs, but that they view less if the same weather conditions coincide with more airtime devoted to information fare. We put this interaction thesis to a test using a time series analysis of daily television viewing data of the Dutch audience obtained from telemeters (T = 3,653), merged with meteorological weather station statistics and program broadcast figures, whilst controlling for a wide array of recurrent and one-time societal events. The results provide substantial support for the proposed interaction of program airtime and the weather parameters temperature and sunshine on aggregate television viewing time. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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