Mean Worldview

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  • A phenomenon wherein media consumers adopt the belief that the world is a more threatening, dangerous, and violent place than it really is, full of disease, natural disaster, corrupt authority figures, and violent crime (also called mean world syndrome). Theorists and media analysts—George Gerbner being a prime example—argue that television viewing has a positive correlation with the belief that the world is a mean place. Local television news is often implicated, as such newscasts tend to lead with and focus on crime and other negative news. The impact on the individual viewer of such a distorted view of reality may include feelings of fear and isolation, which in turn leads to a societal impact, where citizens are suspicious of one another and withdraw or ...

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