Horror Films: Current Research on Audience Preferences and Reactions

By James B. Weaver III; Ron Tamborini | Go to book overview

helpful. It should be recognized, however, that children are exposed to many programs and films without their parents' knowledge. The pervasiveness of multiple television sets in the home as well as the saturation of cable television, increases the opportunities for children to be exposed to a wide variety of horrific images. In addition, there is much anecdotal evidence of the prevalence of peer pressure as the force behind children's exposure to films they would otherwise avoid.

Because even the most cautious parents are likely to find themselves confronted with a child whose fright was caused by horror films, parental involvement will also be necessary to help children cope with whatever fright reactions do occur. Studies have shown that a variety of strategies can be effective in reducing media-induced fright, and that different strategies are appropriate for children of different ages ( Cantor & Wilson, 1988).


REFERENCES

Angelino H., Dollins J., & Mech E. V. ( 1956). "Trends in the fears and worries of school children as related to socio-economic status and age". Journal of Genetic Psychology, 89,263-276.

Berger S. M. ( 1962). "Conditioning through vicarious instigation". Psychological Review, 69,450-466.

Blumer H. ( 1933). Movies and conduct. New York: Macmillan.

Bowlby J. ( 1973). Separation: Anxiety and anger. New York: Basic Books.

Bruner J. S. ( 1966). "On cognitive growth I & II". In J. S. Bruner, R. R. Oliver, & P. M. Greenfield (Eds.), Studies in cognitive growth (pp. 1-67). New York: Wiley.

Buzzuto J. C. ( 1975). "Cinematic neurosis following The Exorcist." Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 161,43-48.

Cantor J. ( 1994). "Fright reactions to mass media". In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp. 213-245). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Cantor J. ( 1992). "Children's emotional responses to technological disasters conveyed by the mass media". In J. M. Wober (Ed.), Television and nuclear power: Making the public mind (pp. 31-53). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Cantor J., & Omdahl B. L. ( 1991). "Effects of televised depictions of realistic threats on children's emotional responses, expectations, worries, and liking for related activities". Communication Monographs, 58,384-401.

Cantor J., & Reilly S. ( 1982). "Adolescents' fright reactions to television and films". Journal of Communication, 32( 1), 87-99.

Cantor J., & Sparks G. G. ( 1984). "Children's fear responses to mass media: Testing some Piagetian predictions". Journal of Communication, 34( 2), 90-103.

Cantor J., & Wilson B. J. ( 1984). "Modifying fear responses to mass media in preschool and elementary school children". Journal of Broadcasting, 28,431-443.

Cantor J., & Wilson B. J. ( 1988). "Helping children cope with frightening media presentations". Current Psychology: Research & Reviews, 7,58-75.

Cantor J., Wilson B. J., & Hoffner C. ( 1986). "Emotional responses to a televised nuclear holocaust film". Communication Research, 13,257-277.

Cowan G., & O'Brien M. ( 1990). "Gender and survival vs. death in slasher films: A content analysis". Sex Roles, 23,187-196.

Dika V. ( 1987). "The stalker film", 1978-81. In G. A. Waller (Ed.), American horrors: Essays on the modern American horror film (pp. 86-101). Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

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