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Aug 28, 2023

3 Benefits of Watching Documentaries

Documentaries have gained immense popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They provide viewers with an opportunity to explore the world, gain knowledge, and experience captivating stories. I have always liked watching documentaries, whether it is about the history of our country or about an author (I'm always more fascinated by animal documentaries though). Beyond mere entertainment, watching documentaries offers a range of benefits that can enrich your life in various ways. In this article, we will delve into three significant advantages of indulging in the world of documentaries.

Education and Learning Opportunities

One of the most compelling reasons to watch documentaries is the incredible educational value they offer. The best part is that they are not your regular sleep-inducing lectures; they're fascinating journeys into uncharted territory. Documentaries cover a wide array of topics, from history and science to culture and society. By watching these films, you can acquire a deep understanding of subjects you might not encounter in traditional educational settings.

Broadening Knowledge: Documentaries can take you on a journey to far-flung corners of the world or dive deep into historical events. A study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that watching documentaries can improve knowledge retention. For instance, take the documentary "Planet Earth" - it's like a crash course in ecosystems, from the icy Arctic to the depths of the ocean.

Expert Insights: Documentaries often bring in the big guns aka experts, scientists, and folks who know their things. Research by the *Society for Neuroscience has shown that seeing these experts in action can boost your understanding of complex subjects.

Critical Thinking: Documentaries often present different sides of a story, which is a great exercise for your brain. Watching them can encourage critical thinking and help you develop your own informed opinions. I'm not encouraging arguing but watching documentaries can also help you win arguments. You can just say you saw it in a documentary and show it to your opponent.

Cultivating Empathy and Understanding

Just as documentaries can help you win arguments, documentaries also have the power to evoke strong emotions and foster empathy. They bring viewers face-to-face with the lives, struggles, and triumphs of real people and creatures. This emotional connection can lead to a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Empathy: A study in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that watching documentaries can increase empathy. When you witness the challenges and triumphs of individuals from diverse backgrounds, it can cultivate empathy and compassion. This can lead to a more open-minded and accepting worldview.

Social Awareness: Ever wanted to change the world? Documentaries can light that fire. Many documentaries shed light on important social issues such as poverty, discrimination, environmental concerns, and healthcare. They can inspire viewers to take action or support causes they are passionate about. For example the documentary "The Social Dilemma" reveals the dark side of social media.

Inspiration: Documentaries often feature stories of resilience and determination. According to a study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, these stories can be a source of inspiration, motivating you to overcome challenges in your own life. Think "Free Solo" - it is about a guy who climbs a 3,000-foot rock wall without ropes. It might just make you believe in the impossible.

Entertainment with Substance

While documentaries are informative, they are also highly entertaining. They combine the art of storytelling with real-life events, creating a unique blend of education and entertainment (Edutainment as some people call it).

Compelling Stories: Documentaries are storytellers in their own rights and can be as riveting as any fictional film. They often unfold like a well-crafted narrative, keeping you engaged from start to finish. Research by Psychology & Marketing suggests that compelling storytelling is a big reason why people love documentaries. "The Act of Killing" is like a real-life crime thriller, complete with a twist you won't see coming.

Visual Appeal: Many documentaries feature breathtaking cinematography and stunning visuals that transport you to different worlds and make the learning experience visually captivating. A study in Media Psychology even suggests that the visuals can be a big part of the appeal, transporting you to far-off places. I personally think documentaries look better than actual movies because there's usually little or sometimes no visual effects in them. Through my own research findings I found out that National Geographic avoids using CGI when filming live animals to maintain the authenticity of the natural world for viewers.

Unique Perspectives: Documentaries offer a fresh perspective on familiar topics and introduce you to extraordinary people and stories you might not encounter elsewhere. According to research in Communication Research Reports, these new angles can broaden your horizons and introduce you to extraordinary people and stories.

So, there you have it. Documentaries are more than just a Netflix category; they're your passport to a world of knowledge, empathy, and really good stories. The next time you're debating what to watch, consider a documentary—it might just change the way you see the world, and the research backs that up!