PL EN


2013 | 20 | 1 | 217-229
Article title

A hypothesis on maintenance of fears

Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The article is focused on a function of the mass media that stems from the tacit rule that “bad news make good news”. This refers to emphatic coverage of negative events, facts, processes and media violence, which instill fear, insecurity, anxiety, tension in the audience. No mass media make an exception to this trend. One can watch, hear or read coverage such as: “The end of the world has been postponed”, “The flue epidemic this year is expected to be much bigger and worse”, etc. Negative coverage instilling fear and insecurity refers above all to various forms of violence: killings, beatings, psychological harassment, sexual harassment. Fear and insecurity are also engendered by coverage of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, traffic accidents, disasters, failures, abuses related to product quality, prices, expiry dates, financial or document crimes, etc. A content analysis study of central evening news broadcasts on three of the most widely watched Bulgarian television stations, conducted under the author’s leadership in 2011 and 2012 is used for developing the fear maintenance hypothesis. Most generally, the similarities between the two set of data are the following: -the media inspire fear, anxiety of various kinds, and the feeling that the problems are unsolvable; -violence in the media is shown daily and holds a relatively high share of the coverage; -the media predominantly inspire pessimism. The author’s thesis is that the mass media maintain people’s fears and anxiety; this is more than a hypothetic construct. It would be appropriate to designate this as the fear maintenance theory, and place it alongside the theory of cultivation (G. Gerbner), the social learning theory (A. Bandura), etc.
Publisher
Year
Volume
20
Issue
1
Pages
217-229
Physical description
Dates
published
2013-06-01
online
2013-11-02
Contributors
  • Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy South-West University, Blagoevgrad - Bulgaria
References
  • 1. Andison, F. S. 1977. TV violence and viewer aggression: A cumulation of study results, “Public Opinion Quarterly”, 41, pp. 314-331. [Crossref]
  • 2. Bandura, A. 1978. A social learning theory of aggression, “Journal of Communication”, 28 (3), pр. 12-29. [Crossref]
  • 3. Bandura, A. 1982. Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency, “American Psychologist”, 37 (2), pр. 122-147. [Crossref]
  • 4. Bandura, A. 1985. Social Foundations of Thought and Action, Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
  • 5. Bandura, A., Ross, D., Ross, S. 1963. Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models, “Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology”, pр. 66, 3-11.
  • 6. Blank, D. M. 1977. Final comments on the violence profile, “Journal of Broadcasting”, 21, рp. 287-296. [Crossref]
  • 7. Bryant, J., Thompson C. 2002. Fundamentals of Media Effects, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Columbus.
  • 8. Cantor, J., Nathanson A. I. 1996. Children‘s fright reactions to television news, “Journal of Communication”, 46 (4), рp. 139-152. [Crossref]
  • 9. Cantor, J. 1994. Fright reactions to mass media, [in:] Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, J. Bryant, D. Zillmann (eds.), Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 213-245
  • 10. Cantor, J., Reilly, S. 1982. Adolescents’ fright reactions to television and films, “Journal of Communication”, 32 (1), рp. 87-99. [Crossref]
  • 11. Cantor, J., Sparks, G. 1984. Children’s fear responses to mass media: Testing some Piagetian predictions, “Journal of Communication”, 34 (2), рp. 90-103. [Crossref]
  • 12. Cantor, J., Wilson, B. J. 1984. Modifying fear responses to mass media in preschool and elementary school children, “Journal of Broadcasting”, 28, рp. 431-443. [Crossref]
  • 13. Cantor, J., Wilson, B. J. 1986. Hoffner, С., Emotional responses to a televised nuclear holocaust film, “Communication Research”, 13, рp. 257-277. [Crossref]
  • 14. Carlson, M., Marcus-Newhall, A., Miller, N. 1990. Effects of situational aggression cues: Aquantitative review, “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, 58, рp. 622-633. [Crossref]
  • 15. Cooper, C. 1996. Violence on television, congressional inquiry, public criticism and industry response, a policy analysis, University Press of America: Lanham, MD. Drabman, R., Thomas, M. H. 1974. Does media violence increase children’s toleration of real life aggression, “Developmental Psychology”, 10, рp. 418-421.
  • 16. Federman, J. (ed.) 1998. National Television Violence Study, vol. 3, Executive Summary. Santa Barbara, CA: Center for Communication and Social policy, University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • 17. Fotev, G. 2006. The Sociology of Fear, [in:] Fotev G., Disciplinary Structure of Sociology, Prosfeta: Sofia, East-West (in Bulgarian).
  • 18. Fotev, G. (ed.) 2005. Sociology of Deviant Behaviour, Prosfeta: Sofia, East-West (in Bulgarian).
  • 19. Gerbner, G., Gross, L. 1972. Living with television: The violence profile, “Journal of Communication”, 26, рp. 173-199.
  • 20. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Jackson-Beeck, M., Jeffries-Fox, S., Signorielli, N. 1978. Cultural indicators violence profile, “Journal of Communication”, 28(3), pp. 176-207. [Crossref]
  • 21. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N., Shanahan, J. 1978. Growing up with television: Cultivation processes, [in:] J. Bryant, D. Zillmann (eds.), Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ (2nd ed.).
  • 22. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N. 1980. Aging with television: Images on television drama and conceptions of social reality, “Journal of Communication”, 30 (1), pp. 37-47. [Crossref]
  • 23. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N. 1980. The “mainstreaming” of America: violence profile, “Journal of Communication”, no. 11, 30, 3, pp. 10-29.
  • 24. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N. 1986. Living with television: The dynamics of the cultivation process, [in:] Perspectives on Media Effects, J. Bryant, D. Zillman (eds.), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Hilldale, NJ, p. 17-40.
  • 25. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N. 1994. Growing up with television: The cultivation perspective, [in:] Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Tesearch, J. Bryant, D. Zillmann (eds.), Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 17-41
  • 26. Gerbner, G., Signorielli, N. 1988. Violence and Terror in the Mass Media. An annotated bibliography, New York Greenwood Press: New York.
  • 27. Gerbner, G. 1998. Cultivation analysis: An overview, “Mass Communication and Society”, 3/4, pp. 175-194.
  • 28. Gerbner, G., Hamid, M., Schiller, H. I. 1999. Violence and Terror in the Mass Media. ISBN 9231026038 (92-3-102603-8). Softcover, UNESCO Publishing http://www.bookfinder.com/author/georgegerbner/.
  • 29. Liebert, R. M., Sprafkin, J. N., Davidson, E.S. 1982. The Early Window: Effects of Television on Children and Youth (2nd ed.), Pergamon: Elmsford, NY.
  • 30. Linz, D. G., Donnerstein, E., Penrod, S. 1988. Effects of long-term exposure to violent and sexually degrading depictions of women, “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, 55, рp. 758-768. [Crossref]
  • 31. Paik, H., Comstock, G., T he e ffects of television violence on a ntisocial b ehavior: A metaanalysis, “Communication Research”, 21, pр. 516-546.
  • 32. Peicheva, D. 2001. Television Impact and Cultural Norms, Kvazar, Sofia.
  • 33. Peicheva, D. 2003. Economics and Communication. The World of Communication and Media Society, Kvazar, Sofia.
  • 34. Potter, W. J., Warren, R., Vaughan, M., Howley, K., Land, A., Hagemeyer, J. 1997. Antisocial acts in reality programming on television, “Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media”, 41, рp. 69-75. [Crossref]
  • 35. Schramm, W., Lyle, J., Parker, E. P. 1961. Television in the Lives of Our Children, Stanford University Press: Stanford, CA.
  • 36. Schramm, W. 1955. Information theory and mass communication, “Journalism Quarterly”, 32, рp. 131-146. [Crossref]
  • 37. Schramm, W. (ed.) 1960. Mass Communications, University of Illinois Press: Urbana, IL.
  • 38. Schramm, W., Roberts, D. (eds.) 1971. The Process and Effects of Mass Communication, University of Illinois Press: Urbana, IL.
  • 39. Singer, M. I., Slovak, K., Frierson, T., York, P. 1998. Viewing preferences, symptoms of psychological trauma, and violent behaviors among children who watch television, “Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry” , 37 (10), pр. 1041-1048. [Crossref]
  • 40. Sparks, G., Cantor, J. 1986. Developmental differences in fright responses to a television program depicting a character transformation, “Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media”, 30, pp. 309-323.
  • 41. Thomas, M. H., Horton, R. W., Lippincott, E. C., Drabman, R. S. 1977. Desensitization to portrayals of real-life aggression as a function of exposure to television violence, “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, 35 (6), pp. 450-458. [Crossref]
  • 42. Wilson, B. J. 1987. Reducing children‘s emotional reactions to mass media through rehearsed explanation and exposure to a replica of a fear object, “Human Communication Research”, 14, рp. 3-26. [Crossref]
  • 43. Wilson, B. J., Cantor, J. 1987. Reducing fear reactions to mass media: Effects of visual exposure and verbal explanation, [in:] Communication Yearbook, M. McLaughlin (ed.), SAGE, Beverly Hills, CA, pp. 553-573
  • 44. Wood, W., Wong, R., Chachere, J. 1991. Effects of media violence on viewers’ aggression in unconstrained social interaction, “Psychological Bulletin”, 109, рp. 371-383. [Crossref]
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.doi-10_2478_v10226-012-0032-8
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.