MOLDED BY THE MOVIES
WE have long suspected, most of us, that the movies are seriously affecting the mores and ways of our children and young people. The conversation of any group in the country abounds in surmises, vague impressions and cloudy suspicions. But that the movies are actually molding their habits of mind, their imagery, their outlook on and adjustment to life, supported as it is by numerous facts gathered by the Payne Fund research, is a discovery of the most vital importance in all the field of social study. The fact that good pictures may be as permanent in their influence as bad only makes the infrequent occurrence of the good the more regrettable.
In approaching the subject of movie-influence and movie-effects, obviously, neither Professor Blumer nor any of the other investigators could examine all the 77,000,000 that constitute the weekly movie audience, nor even the 28,000,000 minors. In most of social study samples of the population have to be taken, and Dr. Blumer took large samples. While what is called "suggestibility" is possible in some cases, the numbers examined by Blumer are so large that the facts must have validity. Not only did Dr. Blumer check his facts after several months, but his method markedly illustrates the impersonal and impartial quality of the research. And