Buying Violence: Understanding the Appeal of Violence in Popular Media

Laurence Ashworth, Queens University, Canada
Ethan Pancer, Queens University, Canada
Martin Pyle, Queens University, Canada
Violent media is popular, yet most work on the topic focuses on the consequences of exposure. We examine why violence should be appealing. We suggest that it is not the violence per se, that is appealing, but rather the other motives that it can satisfy. Across three experiments we demonstrate that men, but not women, will preferentially approach media with violent content; men, but not women, enjoy the dominative elements of violent depictions; and finally, that both men and women can enjoy the satisfaction of justice in violence. Without satisfaction of these motives, violent content appears to be disliked.
[ to cite ]:
Laurence Ashworth, Ethan Pancer, and Martin Pyle (2011) ,"Buying Violence: Understanding the Appeal of Violence in Popular Media", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 872-873.