Cutting Film Violence: Effects on Perceptions, Enjoyment, and Arousal

Mike Berry, Tim Gray, Edward I Donnerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors investigated the effects of cutting specific graphic scenes of film violence on self-reports of arousal, enjoyability, and perceptions of violence among a sample of U.S. students. In 3 studies, they varied film exposure from 11/2 min in the 1st study to a complete motion picture (American vs. British version of same film) in the 3rd. In all 3 studies, the participants rated the cut versions as less violent than the uncut versions. The participants distinguished quite subtle differences in levels of violence, even when the cuts were minor and contextualized within an entire movie. Cutting the movie significantly increased its enjoyability for the women; for the men, there was no significant difference. Cutting violent films made no difference in arousal for the men but substantially lowered self-report levels of arousal for the women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of social psychology
Volume139
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

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