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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  13 objects against a wall, karate chopping a table, destroying a victim’s house, breaking a window, etc. In order to be counted, there had to be damage done to the object and it must have been intentional. Thus, if a person or animate being was on the receiving end of physical injury, coders counted this as physical violence against people. If there was destruction to inanimate objects, coders counted this as physical violence against objects. In addition to physical violence, verbal violence was also coded in this study, similar to the approach of Potter and Vaughan (1997). Verbal threats of physical violence were coded separately compared to physical acts. They were limited to utterances of actual or implied threats of bodily harm, such as “I’m going to kill you,” or “I’m coming after you and I’m going to hurt you.” Insults or unkind remarks (e.g., “You’re a jerk,” “I wish you were never born”) were not counted because they do not threaten physical violence. For the sake of symmetry, the original coding scheme also called for the inclusion of verbal threats about damaging objects as well. These were intended to include the threatening statements that characters made to others regarding damaging their property (e.g. “I’m going to destroy your house”). However, after coding half of the sample, there were no instances of verbal threats against objects. Therefore, this category was eliminated from the study. Overall, then, “acts of God or nature” (such as hurricanes or floods), accidents (such as tripping over something and getting hurt or having a gun accidentally go off), or slapstick comedy were not counted as violent. Psychological harm to victims also was not counted. Victims must have been physically harmed by the acts of others or their well being physically threatened by the words of others in order to be included.

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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objects against a wall, karate chopping a table, destroying a victim’s house, breaking a
window, etc. In order to be counted, there had to be damage done to the object and it
must have been intentional. Thus, if a person or animate being was on the receiving end
of physical injury, coders counted this as physical violence against people. If there was
destruction to inanimate objects, coders counted this as physical violence against objects.
In addition to physical violence, verbal violence was also coded in this study,
similar to the approach of Potter and Vaughan (1997). Verbal threats of physical violence
were coded separately compared to physical acts. They were limited to utterances of
actual or implied threats of bodily harm, such as “I’m going to kill you,” or “I’m coming
after you and I’m going to hurt you.” Insults or unkind remarks (e.g., “You’re a jerk,” “I
wish you were never born”) were not counted because they do not threaten physical
violence. For the sake of symmetry, the original coding scheme also called for the
inclusion of verbal threats about damaging objects as well. These were intended to
include the threatening statements that characters made to others regarding damaging
their property (e.g. “I’m going to destroy your house”). However, after coding half of the
sample, there were no instances of verbal threats against objects. Therefore, this category
was eliminated from the study.
Overall, then, “acts of God or nature” (such as hurricanes or floods), accidents
(such as tripping over something and getting hurt or having a gun accidentally go off), or
slapstick comedy were not counted as violent. Psychological harm to victims also was not
counted. Victims must have been physically harmed by the acts of others or their well
being physically threatened by the words of others in order to be included.


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