Ellen Seiter, Hans Borchers, Gabriele Kreutzner, and Eva-Maria Warth


In a recent issue of Ladies Home Journal, a psychologist offers advice to readers on “how to recharge your love life and revitalize your marriage.” A quiz questions the reader about the amount of time she spends talking to and touching her partner in the course of a typical week. But when the reader turns the page to compute her score on the quiz and assess the health of her interpersonal life, she encounters a nasty surprise. Though the quiz itself included no questions about television viewing, the obedient respondent must now compute substantial penalties for every minute she spends alone or with her spouse watching television. The author, Paul Pearsall, ...

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