Media Violence – Psychological Effects

Media Violence Psychological EffectsA lot of attention has been focused on the question of whether exposure to media violence is linked to an increase in violent behavior. Less attention has been focused on the question of the other psychological effects of exposure to media violence. The recent study presented at the British Psychological Society’s 2015 annual meeting suggests that a significant number of people exposed to violent videos experience PTSD-like symptoms.

In their study, the researchers found that, among people who had no history of exposure to trauma, 22% of those who viewed violent videos had high scores on a scale measuring symptoms of PTSD.

Those who were more outgoing and extroverted appeared to have an increased risk of developing PTSD symptoms.

One of the researchers was quoted in an article summarizing the findings in Psych Congress Network –

“It is quite worrying that nearly a quarter of those who viewed the images scored high on clinical measures of PTSD. There was also an increased risk for those with outgoing, extroverted personalities,” said Dr. Ramsden. “With increased access to social media and the Internet via tablets and smartphones, we need to ensure that people are aware of the risks of viewing these images and that appropriate support is available for those who need it.”


1. Viewing violent news on social media can cause trauma. British Psychological Society. May 6, 2015