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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 296-297

Violence in movies and tele-shows: Moderation of mental health by media

1 Telemedicine Center, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission13-Jun-2022
Date of Decision20-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance24-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication31-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Monika Thakur
Telemedicine Center, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_112_22

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How to cite this article:
Thakur M, Kar SK, Sharma R. Violence in movies and tele-shows: Moderation of mental health by media. Ann Indian Psychiatry 2022;6:296-7

How to cite this URL:
Thakur M, Kar SK, Sharma R. Violence in movies and tele-shows: Moderation of mental health by media. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 10];6:296-7. Available from: https://www.anip.co.in/text.asp?2022/6/3/296/360067


Violence: violence: violence: Law tries to avoid it: but, Movies like violence and public cannot avoid.

Violence can be defined as ”Any act (e.g., hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, shooting, and stabbing) causing intentional harm, injury, or death, including war scenes, torture, rape, strangulation, or assault.”[1] Violence is defined by the World Health Organization in the World Report on Violence and Health as ”the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened, or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either result in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”[2]

This is an era of social media. Media has a significant impact on human attitudes, behavior, and overall personality. People will be monitoring numerous social media trends. Because this is a popular trend, millions of individuals will use social media and be impacted by it. Although there is no hard evidence on how much it will impact people's personalities, there may be some transitory changes in the person's attitude or behavior. In such a case, the crime rate may rise, or people may engage in illicit behavior.

Since the early 1960s, research has accumulated that demonstrates that exposure to violence on “television, movies, video games, cell phones, and the Internet” increases the viewer's risk of violent conduct, just as growing up in a violent environment increases the likelihood of them behaving violently.[1],[3],[4] Moreover, small-to-moderate correlational links have been established between movie violence and homicide rates in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, while there was a sharp decrease in the trend with fewer movies related to homicide and violence in the later twentieth century.[5] Evidence suggests that there is increase in suicide rate and online search trends of suicide following release of movies and web series that portray suicide as a solution to deal with issues in life.[6]

The extensive depiction of violence in television and movies has come under fire in recent years, with mounting evidence that such depictions may encourage similar behavior in viewers.[1],[5],[7],[8],[9] Furthermore, it has been widely established that exposure to video violence may increase the chance of young children exhibiting violent behaviors toward both inanimate and living victims. Filmed aggression may affect viewers in other undesirable ways.[8],[10] However, contradicting evidence also exists, which suggests that there is no association between viewing violent content in movies and increase in criminal behavior.[11],[12] Studies also suggest no association of media violence with societal aggression or crime. As a result, a particular form of media can have a wide range of effects, depending on what individual consumers want to achieve rather than on the material itself.[13],[14] There exists ambiguity in the association between criminal behavior and exposure to violent content in media.[12]

The current Indian cinema postpandemic era scenario is changing gradually, although there is a significant increase in the industry's income. However, if one looks at the core content of the movies, the genre is action or “violence,” and people are in the trend of following the same. Therefore, this article emphasizes the impact of aggressive behavior among the masses.

There is some evidence to suggest that children's conceptions of reality may be influenced by media dramatizations. For example, children's attitudes about the natural world may be affected by fictional presentations and further, some authors have suggested that repeated observation of violence can result in emotional habituation. Most importantly, both short- and long-term exposure to media violence enhances aggression.[5],[8] According to widely accepted social cognitive models, a person's social behavior is controlled to a great extent by the interplay of the current situation with the person's emotional state, their schemas about the world, their normative beliefs about what is appropriate, and the scripts for social behavior that they have learned.[5],[15]

During early, middle, and late childhood, children encode in-memory social scripts to guide behavior by observing family, peers, community, and mass media. Consequently, observed behaviors are imitated long after they are observed. In addition, short-term exposure increases the tendency to act more aggressively.[5] People are more eager to inflict severe electric shocks to others after seeing violent media content, for example, and children are more likely to attack others after watching violent media content.

Long-term exposure can alter belief systems, influencing behavior. Children, who are still establishing their worldviews, are particularly sensitive to changing their attitudes and behaviors as a result of constant media exposure. Children who are exposed to a lot of violence in the media, for example, may believe that it is socially acceptable to be violent. Later, in life, this concept may motivate people to be more violent. Huesmann, for example, observed that males who saw violence in the media as babies were more likely to mistreat their spouses and be jailed for crime 15 years later.[5]

Some have claimed that seeing violence disguised as entertainment may enhance one's tolerance for aggressiveness in the real world, making one less ready to intervene when he/she observes similar behavior in his/her own life. It is still debatable the influence of media-related violence in real life. Given the number of studies demonstrating violence, there should be clear regulation of information that may provoke such behavior.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ferguson CJ. Does media violence predict societal violence? It depends on what you look at and when. J Commun 2015;65:E1-22.  Back to cited text no. 1
Heath I. Treating violence as a public health problem. BMJ 2002;325:726-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Wilson W, Hunter R. Movie-inspired violence. Psychol Rep 1983;53:435-41.  Back to cited text no. 3
Parke RD, Berkowitz L, Leyens JP, West SG, Sebastian RJ. Some effects of violent and nonviolent movies on the behavior of juvenile delinquents. In: Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Elsevier; 1977. p. 135-72.  Back to cited text no. 4
Huesmann LR. The impact of electronic media violence: Scientific theory and research. J Adolesc Health 2007;41:S6-13.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kar SK, Arafat SY, Tripathi A. Close link between the global web-search trend of suicide and the entertainment industry: Who is at risk? J Indian Assoc Child Adolesc Ment Health 2021;17:182-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Anderson CA, Berkowitz L, Donnerstein E, Huesmann LR, Johnson JD, Linz D, et al. The influence of media violence on youth. Psychol Sci Public Interest 2003;4:81-110.  Back to cited text no. 7
Bandura A, Ross D, Ross SA. Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models. J Abnorm Soc Psychol 1963;66:3-11.  Back to cited text no. 8
Rutherford A, Zwi AB, Grove NJ, Butchart A. Violence: A priority for public health? (Part 2). J Epidemiol Community Health 2007;61:764-70.  Back to cited text no. 9
Bushman BJ, Huesmann LR, Singer DG, Singer JL. Handbook of children and the media. Effects of Televised Violence on Agression. Available from: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?hl=en&publication_year=2001&author=BJ+Bushman&author=LR+ Huesmann&title=Effects+of+televised+violence+on+aggression. [Last accessed on 2022 Apr 29].  Back to cited text no. 10
Savage J. Does viewing violent media really cause criminal violence? A methodological review. Aggress Violent Behav 2004;10:99-128.  Back to cited text no. 11
Savage J, Yancey C. The effects of media violence exposure on criminal aggression: A meta-analysis. Crim Justice Behav 2008;35:772-91.  Back to cited text no. 12
Ferguson CJ. Does movie or video game violence predict societal violence? It depends on what you look at and when. J Commun 2015;65:193-212.  Back to cited text no. 13
Kaplan RM, Singer RD. Television violence and viewer aggression: A reexamination of the evidence. J Soc 1976;32:35-70.  Back to cited text no. 14
Rizzolatti G, Fadiga L, Gallese V, Fogassi L. Premotor cortex and the recognition of motor actions. Brain Res Cogn Brain Res 1996;3:131-41.  Back to cited text no. 15


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