Selective Exposure to Communication

By Dolf Henry Zillmann; Jennings P. Bryant | Go to book overview

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.


CONCLUDING REMARKS

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.


REFERENCES

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.

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Selective Exposure to Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Selective-Exposure Phenomena 1
  • 2 - Cognitive Dissonance in Selective Exposure 11
  • References 31
  • 3 - Measuring Exposure to Television 35
  • References 58
  • 4 - Informational Utility and Selective Exposure to Entertainment Media 63
  • References 88
  • 5 - Determinants of Television Viewing Preferences 93
  • References 110
  • 6 - Thought and Action as Determinants of Media Exposure 113
  • References 136
  • 7 - Fear of Victimization and the Appeal of Crime Drama 141
  • References 154
  • 8 - Affect, Mood, and Emotion as Determinants of Selective Exposure 157
  • References 187
  • 9 - Selective Exposure to Educational Television 191
  • References 200
  • 10 - Cable and Program Choice 203
  • References 223
  • 11 - "Play It Again, Sam": Repeated Exposure to Television Programs 225
  • Acknowledgment 241
  • Author Index 243
  • Subject Index 249
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