عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Received in: 01/11/2014
Accepted in: 02/20/2015
Introduction and the research problem: This paper is an attempt to determine the impact level of violent TV news reports on emotional experiences. There are seven main feelings that are expressed in all cultures with the similar facial expressions. These feelings include sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and joy. These global facial expressions are considered as intrinsic and innate part of the nature of human beings, which means they are not there to be learned. Even people who are borne blind and never see the others’ faces, reflect the seven facial expressions in a similar fashion as the other people do. Because violence appears in many different forms, it is thought that the effect will not only affect the subjective feelings of fear, but it also affects a wide range of (mostly negative) emotions. One of the questions this article plans to answer is about how the viewers of television news experience the subjective feelings. The other question is about what the intensity of the emotions is.
This type of conceptualization is considered as somewhat simplistic conceptualization of emotional effects, and has come under heavy criticism. Most studies also address behavioral effects of the media violence, especially the effects on aggressive behavior (Murray, 2003). In contrast, not many scholars have not been systematically addressed the emotional effects (other than effects on fear) thus far. I will address this problem in the following argument.
Theoretical framework: The dominant theoretical framework that deals with the question of emotions is appraisal theory. There is a widely held belief that emotions are caused by information processing that links an individual's situation and specific events to goals, needs, and concerns on the one hand, and capacity to adapt, on the other.
A prominent appraisal model is the component process model of emotion proposed by Scherer (1997). Conceptualizing emotion as a process, defines emotion "as an episode of interrelated, synchronized changes in the states of all or most of the five organismic subsystems in response to the evaluation of external or internal stimulus event as relevant it major concerns of the organism” (Scherer, 2001, p. 93). This is where I situate my theoretical position and will be addressing the problematic of the research.
Methodology: my research was based on an experimental study of short-term laboratory type. For such an experiment, I asked some 80 students of arts and culture discipline from the University of Applied Science and Technology to take part voluntarily in the research. Then I presented them with 10 news reports that showed five different levels of violence. This study planned to measure five emotions from amongst seven negative emotions. Moreover, I asked them to ignore the two senses of wonder and delight. The study utilized a two-factorial design. The first factor included five negative emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, disgust and contempt. The second factor included the type of violence that had five levels as follows: 1. no violence 2. Intentional violence against humans, 3. Unintentional violence against humans, 4. Intentional violence against objects and 5. Unintentional violence against objects.
News reports were then presented through a series of reports broadcasted by the Iranian TV, Channel six news and the news network. It was designed similar to a typical news report in which main news on executive managers were introduced first and then the weather report came in the end of the news. I asked the participants to express their level of subjective feelings after every NEWS reports, using Likert’s scale degrees. I measured each negative feeling using a five-item scale.
Findings and discussion: Measuring the two factors of “type of violence” and “type of viewers’ feelings” indicated that depending on the type of violence screened, violence in TV reports summon up negative emotions. Overall, “humiliation and fear” is the least experienced feeling when the violent news reports are broadcasted and the audience watching violent news reports rather seems to react to other important emotions such as wrath and hatred. This indicates that there is some kind of concern about social order consistency and the lack of endorsement by others. I also noticed that the subjects of my experiment mentioned the emotions such as those expressed in reaction to others’ pain such as sorrow and fear, rarely.
As mentioned before, the purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of how violence in TV news influences emotional responses, especially subjective feeling, of viewers. The results indicate that the type of violence portrayed in a news report influences the intensity and mixture of the experienced subjective feeling. Viewers of news reports express more so-called negative feelings when violent images are presented on television. This is especially true when compared to watching nonviolent news images. When exposed to news content that portrays intentional violence, stronger negative feelings are reported compared to exposure to unintentional violence. In contrast to our expectations, participants mainly reported more anger, and they also reported more feeling of fear and sadness.
To conclude, the study demonstrates that depending on what type of violence in a news report is reported by means of appraisal processes we can conclude that it will influence the emotional mixture of subjective feeling experienced by the viewers. Contrary to the prominent role of fear in existing research, our results indicate that violence affects a wide range of emotions, especially feeling of anger, sadness, and disgust. Ultimately news produces an interesting and highly sophisticated mixture of experienced feeling that is interwoven with expected gratifications. This leaves the strong impression that watching TV news is deeply rooted in emotional processes of media reception.
The findings of the study mainly indicate that a complicated network of interrelations exists between variables such as media, characteristics of viewers and emotional processes.