Does television violence enhance program popularity?


Diener, E., & DeFour, D. (1978). Does television violence enhance program popularity? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(3), 333-341.


Two studies were conducted to explore the effects of fictional television violence on adventure show popularity. In Study 1 the amount of violence occurring within 62 episodes of 11 programs was correlated with the national Nielsen viewer index. A very low (r = .05) and nonsignificant relationship emerged. In addition, student raters' perceptions of the programs were factor analyzed. A violence factor emerged, but reported liking for programs did not load substantially on this factor. Study 2 was an experiment in which an adventure program ("Police Woman") was presented to subjects either uncut or with the violence deleted. Although the uncut version was perceived as significantly more violent, it was not liked significantly more. The violence condition accounted for approximately 1% of the variance in reported liking. There is presently little evidence indicating that violence enhances program popularity.

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