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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  32 likelihood of audiences to emulate rewarded violence. All of the types of media examined contained substantial amounts of justified violence (16%-26.1%), which has also been associated with an increased likelihood of emulation on the part of audience members. Fortunately, humor was infrequent in violent media content in the data. Yet, almost one in every ten perpetrators of violence across media types were likeable characters, which can contribute to audience members learning aggression from consuming this type of media. Numbers of likeable victims of violence ranged from 13.8% to 46.4% in media content, a situation that could cause fearful responses in viewers and contribute to a “mean world syndrome.” Finally, in primetime television, nearly half (43.9%) of the violent themes mentioned in the synopses were realistic rather than fantastical, and therefore could contribute to fear and the learning of aggression for audience members. This study also points to differences in the amount of violence present in different media types. Yet, although such differences are statistically significant, it is important to note that all of the media types examined contained a substantial amount of violence, ranging from 14.73% to 47.27%. Therefore, we can conclude that though some media types are more violent than others (such as primetime television), all media examined here appear to rely fairly heavily and regularly on violent content. Violence, therefore, is a consistent staple in nearly all forms of mass media. The changes over time that are evident in these data are interesting. In primetime television content, for instance, though the percent of overall content that is violent has decreased in general over the time period examined, the synopses that did contain violence revealed that the numbers of acts within those synopses had grown considerably over time. Therefore, in primetime television, based on these data, it appears that the

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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likelihood of audiences to emulate rewarded violence. All of the types of media examined
contained substantial amounts of justified violence (16%-26.1%), which has also been
associated with an increased likelihood of emulation on the part of audience members.
Fortunately, humor was infrequent in violent media content in the data. Yet, almost one
in every ten perpetrators of violence across media types were likeable characters, which
can contribute to audience members learning aggression from consuming this type of
media. Numbers of likeable victims of violence ranged from 13.8% to 46.4% in media
content, a situation that could cause fearful responses in viewers and contribute to a
“mean world syndrome.” Finally, in primetime television, nearly half (43.9%) of the
violent themes mentioned in the synopses were realistic rather than fantastical, and
therefore could contribute to fear and the learning of aggression for audience members.
This study also points to differences in the amount of violence present in different
media types. Yet, although such differences are statistically significant, it is important to
note that all of the media types examined contained a substantial amount of violence,
ranging from 14.73% to 47.27%. Therefore, we can conclude that though some media
types are more violent than others (such as primetime television), all media examined
here appear to rely fairly heavily and regularly on violent content. Violence, therefore, is
a consistent staple in nearly all forms of mass media.
The changes over time that are evident in these data are interesting. In primetime
television content, for instance, though the percent of overall content that is violent has
decreased in general over the time period examined, the synopses that did contain
violence revealed that the numbers of acts within those synopses had grown considerably
over time. Therefore, in primetime television, based on these data, it appears that the


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