New Study: TV Violence Makes People More Afraid Of Crime, But Not Afraid There Is More CrimeA new study claims Americans’ fear of crime is statistically related to the level of violence portrayed on primetime TV. The Annenberg Public Policy Center, at the University of Pennsylvania, compared annual changes in the amount of violence portrayed on popular primetime dramas – broadcast TV only — from early ’70s through 2010, with changes in national rates of response to Gallup poll questions about people’s fear of crime over that period.

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The study found that, even though crime rates fell over the period of the study (according to the FBI) people’s fears about crime fell and rose during that period, along with TV violence rates.  Incidents of TV violence on broadcast television have increased since the late 1990s –  as has the public’s fear of crime, the study said. The findings suggest that TV drama may “transport” viewers emotionally into the imagined world of TV shows in a way that creates fear of crime beyond the influence of the national violent crime rate or the reported perception of local crime,” the study said.

The number of violentHawaii five o sequences per TV hour actually fell from a high of 6.5 in 1972 to 1.4 in 1996, and then increased to 3.7 in 2010. Each additional violent sequence per hour predicted an increase of 1 percentage point in the people who told Gallup they were afraid of walking alone at night … Read More »