Realism of Violent Content, Real-World Violence on Television, and Their Effects

Multiple conceptualizations and definitions of realism are used in the media effects field. First, realism can be seen as a characteristic of a genre. Factual media, such as news and documentaries, are more realistic than fictional media such as soap operas and cartoons. Second, realism refers to the degree to which the media content is presented in a compelling manner. Convincing acting, sophisticated visual effects, and advanced graphics make a movie or a video game world appear more like the real world. Finally, perceived realism can be viewed as a psychological characteristic of the viewer rather than a property of the message. Audience members interpret media messages in multiple ways, and it has been suggested that the subjective perceptions of realism rather than objective accuracy ...

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