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Reasons for Consuming Violent Entertainment

  • By: Karin M. Fikkers
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

For many years, researchers have wondered what people find attractive in violent entertainment. Why do people watch movies like Saw or play first-person-shooter games like Call of Duty? The answer to this question is highly relevant because there is convincing evidence that individuals who are more attracted to violent entertainment are also more likely to be affected by it—that is, become more aggressive. It is therefore remarkable that research into the appeal of such entertainment has received far less attention than research into its effects. This entry discusses the most common reasons for consuming violent entertainment. Although these reasons are to a certain extent intertwined, three broad categories can be distinguished: person based, social, and experiential explanations.

Person-Based Explanations

Although the answer to the question of ...

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