tion (i.e., the antagonist being shot) by apprehensive persons that was expected. This failure is probably the result of efforts to create the two drama versions through editing, in the process of which the necessary dispositional development of the characters may have suffered considerably.
The research addressing the association between fear of crime and crime-drama consumption has established that apprehensions can foster increased selective exposure. The drama variable that emerged as most significant in this connection is that of justice-injustice. Drama that features the restoration of justice after the commission of criminal transgressions appears to hold great appeal to crimeapprehensive persons. As justice restoration commonly relies on violent action, the appeal of the justice theme entails the acceptance and appreciation of some degree of violence: the violence needed to achieve the punitive objectives involved in the restoration of justice. Violence in and of itself does not appear to be an attractant (cf. Diener & De Four 1978). For crime-apprehensive persons, it seems to function as a deterrent to exposure. And comparatively speaking, violence resulting in injustice emerged as an unattractive formula for crime drama.
The research also provides some evidence that crime-apprehensive persons obtain greater excitement from crime drama than others do and that emotional responses to drama, including enjoyment of favorable resolutions, are accordingly more intense.
It should be recognized, however, that all of this does not preclude cultivation effects such as perceptions of crime in society that fail to correspond with reality, esteem for those instrumental in restoring justice and safety for citizens, and an acceptance of violence in the service of justice and security. But it would seem that these effects of exposure result more from coping with crime apprehensions that are based on pertinent experience and reliable information (cf. Baumer, 1978; Skogan & Maxfield, 1981) than from incidental and seemingly involuntary exposure to crime drama and the maladaptive anxieties it produces -- as some have insinuated.
Bandura, A. ( 1969). Principles of behavior modification. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Baumer, T. L. ( 1978). "Research on fear of crime in the United States". Victimology: An International Journal, 3, 254-264.
Boyanowsky, E. O. ( 1977). "Film preferences under conditions of threat: Whetting the appetite for violence, information, or excitement?" Communication Research, 4, 133-145.