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US media consumption underrated: Study

MUMBAI: Each day an American spends 11.7 hours on the media, on an average. While the "least media-active person" spent 5.25 hours a day with the media, the most active spent over 17 hours.

But the catch is, the difference between how much Americans think they consume and how much they really do.

A study conducted by Researchers at Ball State University's Center for Media Design has revealed these interesting facts. The results, published in The International Digital Media & Arts Association Journal, showed "people spend more than double the time with the media than they think they do."

Activities like watching television, video tapes or DVDs; listening to the radio, CDs, cassettes or MP3 players; spending time on the computer, Internet, or sending and receiving e-mail; talking on the telephone or cell phone; and reading books, magazines or newspapers, were considered under the term media.

Researchers, in their attempts to gauge the daily American media consumption rate more accurately, tried to observe media interaction firsthand by simply following participants around from the time they awoke to the time they went to bed. They also used the traditional methods like phone surveys and personal diaries.

"Phone surveys reflect a person's perception of their media use but not their actual behavior," said a statement from the researchers. "Diaries give more detail than phone surveys, but we found observation provides much more detail than diaries," the statement revealed.

According to the study, while in phone surveys people said they watched 121 minutes of television a day, that number jumped to 278 minutes for people recording activities in personal diaries -- and 319 minutes when observed directly.

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