Do Movies Make People Kill Others?

01 Mar 2013

Video- Do movies make people kill others? Mass killings are nothing new; history is full of them. But today, when unstable people unleash their mental illness and problems by killing others, we hear about it almost instantly.

Cable news outlets–that have to fill 24 hours of programming every day–spend hours interviewing experts and trying to understand the insanity. And politicians try to pass new laws to prevent it from happening again.

Since the beginning of the film industry and most especially television, a lot of research has been done to try to understand its effects. Do media messages make people do things?

How media affects viewers was the focus of my doctoral studies, and most especially, my dissertation that looked at the positive (prosocial as opposed to antisocial) effects of media.

The following interview is one I did after the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012 to contribute to the discussion on the topic.

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