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Com 166 - Week 7 Reading Notes

Com 166 - Week 7 Reading Notes -...

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Violence, Mayhem, and Horror – Sparks (Week 7) 3 distinct ways of enjoying violent entertainment 1) enjoying a violent movie precisely because the violent images themselves evoke pleasure 2) reporting overall enjoyment of a violent movie but finding the violent scenes themselves to be unpleasant 3) enjoying a violent movie overall not so much because of the inherent appeal of the images, but because of various gratifications that are indirectly related to the viewing of the images and are actually experienced after the images themselves are viewed Definitional Issues Violence: images in which the actions of one or more characters brings about physical injury to another character Mayhem: images that might potentially be associated with bodily harm, but are not clearly initiated by a particular character (i.e. explosions, natural disasters, etc.) Horror: media content that seems designed to induce a state of fear or terror Are Violence, Mayhem, and Horror (VMH) Inherently Appealing? It is possible that media depictions of VMH contain properties that are inherently attractive or enjoyable Sensory Delight o Sensory experiences related to VMH images are enjoyed completely apart from the surrounding context, characters, plot, etc. that might be happening simultaneously o There is wide agreement among psychologists that one of the primary goals of human behavior is to maximize sensory pleasure o If some individuals do experience sensory delight from these media themes, it could be a powerful motivator for repetitive consumption of this type of media content o Little direct evidence for this theory Aesthetic Theory of Destruction o The theory emphasizes that the same factors that contribute to aesthetic enjoyment (factors such as complexity, expectation, novelty, intensity, patterning, etc.) are involved in destructive acts o Consequently, there may be powerful aesthetic pleasure elicited by acts of destruction o One of the three major reasons that subjects reported for attending horror films was to see the destruction that these films often presented o Little direct evidence of this theory
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Novelty o Some of the appeal of images of VMH can be explained by the fact that they are unusual or novel o Orientation to novel stimuli may have some evolutionary significance Dangers often arise from a disruption of the status quo and those who survive best are those who can efficiently and quickly identify new and unusual events in the environment o Novelty seeking has been identified as a fundamental dimension of personality on which individuals vary o While there appears to be a genetic component to novelty seeking, early developmental experiences may also be critical in modifying the brain system activity that governs these responses Sensation Seeking o Incorporates components of both the sensory delight and novelty explanations o Explains that VMH are enjoyed by some viewers because of their intrinsic capabilities to
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