Media’s Influence on One’s Perception of Violence and Mental Illness

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1682602_1280x720Both news and entertainment media show people with mental illness as dangerous, violent, or unpredictable. Many of the individuals who commit these crimes are presumed to have a mental illness and this in turn perpetuates the social stigma that all people with a mental illness are violent or dangerous. Before some of the most recent and deadly mass shootings including the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the 2017 Las Vegas shooting at am outdoor concert, and the 2017 First Baptist Church shooting in Texas, The Virginia Tech shootings was one of the deadliest shootings to date. Taking place in 2007 and ending with 32 dead and 15 wounded, the shooter was perceived to have had a mental illness that caused him to commit this crime.

Hoffner and colleagues conducted a study that examined the perceived influence of news coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings on one’s own and others’ attitudes about mental illness, and behavioral outcomes as a function of personal experience with mental illness. They utilized an online survey of 198 adults within about one month of the shootings. Individuals without a mental illness, the perceived news influence on their own attitudes toward mental illness was associated with more engagement in support/comfort activities and greater likelihood of online opinion expression. In contrast, individuals with a mental illness, perceiving that others attitudes had become more negative was associated with less engagement in support/comfort activities. Respondents with no experience of mental illness reported greater stereotypes about mental illness and less willingness to seek treatment and they expressed more fear and less anger than those who had experience with mental illness.

Me (2)Mackenzie is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Sociology. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May 2018, she plans on going to graduate school for Social Work.

 

 

Hoffner, C. A., Fujioka, Y., Cohen, E. L., & Atwell Seate, A. (2017). Perceived media influence, mental illness, and responses to news coverage of a mass shooting. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 6(2), 159-173. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000093

Human Trafficking: A Topic that Gets a Reaction Out of People

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In this fifth episode of season 2 of All the Rage, we talk human trafficking in popular culture with Dr. Bryan Carr, host of Serious Fun. From Taken to The Punisher to The Girl Who Played with Fire, we discuss the various ways modern day slavery has found its way into the popular culture and how these depictions influence the public.

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Organization: Free the Slaves

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Free the Slaves was founded in 2000—and today we are considered a leader and pioneer in the modern abolitionist movement. We have helped awaken the world to the fact that slavery still exists, why it does, and where it’s worst. We’ve developed a global blueprint for change to inform governments, international institutions, faith communities, businesses, and the public what they can do. We’re now implementing our community-based strategy in strategically selected countries, demonstrating that our model works and that it is both scalable and replicable. Our groundbreaking research and rigorous evaluation informs our policy advocacy to strengthen anti-slavery laws and rid slavery from manufacturing supply chains and business practices.

We help communities chart their own path toward sustainable freedom based on their unique needs and circumstances. We strengthen the capacity of grassroots organizations, government agencies, advocacy coalitions, and the media to take action. We support vulnerable communities through education, mobilization, and increasing access to education, vocational training, and essential services. We rescue those in slavery and help them rejoin their families and communities. We record and share success stories so the world can see what both slavery and freedom look like. And we systematically assess our work to ensure accountability and continuously improve our programs. Free the Slaves co-implements all community projects with and through locally-based organizations.

Our model delivers results. Since our founding, we have liberated more than 13,000 people from slavery.

Does Commitment Promote Forgiveness?

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landscape-1454349521-marriage-fightStrong commitment in one’s relationships promotes positive mental events and forgiveness.  This is according to a 2002 study by Finkel and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University.  They defined commitment as the intent to persist or the decision to remain dependent on the partner. Betrayal, meanwhile, is arguably one of the hardest things to forgive in any relationship. When people are betrayed, they often find it difficult to withdraw from the negative emotions that accompany the act.

Finkel and colleagues conducted three separate studies to explore the relationship between commitment and forgiveness: (1) a priming experiment, (2) a cross-sectional survey study, and (3) an interaction record study. . The authors believed that there would be a positive association between commitment and forgiveness and Study 1 found that individuals, who are highly committed to their partners, are more likely to forgive acts of betrayal. Study 2 and 3 looked at if mental events would bring about the association between commitment and behavior. Study 2 found that highly committed individuals had more positive immediate and delayed behaviors, immediate and delayed cognitive interpretations, and delayed emotional reactions however they had more negative emotional reactions. Study 3 demonstrated that when individuals are highly committed, even in acts of betrayal, they are more likely to look at the act with more positive emotion, cognition, and behavior. They also found that, the association of commitment with forgiveness was significantly affected by both cognitive interpretations and emotional reactions to the betrayal.

Me (2)Mackenzie is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Sociology. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May 2018, she plans on going to graduate school for Social Work.

 

 

Finkel, E. J., Rusbult, C. E., Kumashiro, M., & Hannon, P. A. (2002). Dealing with betrayal in close relationships: Does commitment promote forgiveness? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 956-974. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.956

Organization: The Sexual Assault Center of Family Services

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The Sexual Assault Center of Family Services provides services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for victims of sexual assault (including sex trafficking), and their families and friends. Services are confidential and free of charge. The Sexual Assault Center provides sensitive services to all victims regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or disability. Services are available throughout the Wisconsin counties of Brown, Door, Oconto, and Marinette. Services also include medical advocacy, legal advocacy, follow up services and support.

Links to Relevant Resources

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To create season 2 of All the Rage, we talked with or gathered data from a variety of people and organizations.  Here’s a list of links to relevant resources related to human trafficking.

Organization: Ending the Game

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Ending The Game (ETG) is a groundbreaking survivor-written curriculum that helps sex trafficking victims reduce feelings of attachment to a trafficker and/or the trafficking lifestyle.  Ending The Game (ETG) educates and empowers sex trafficking victims by providing a structure and framework to uncover harmful psychological coercion (a.k.a. “The Game”) that victims may have been subjected to during their trafficking experience. By offering a curriculum that reveals the sequence of commonly-used, yet seldom-explained, mind control techniques used by traffickers, we aim to empower participants to acquire skills to “End The Game.”