Cutting film violence: effects on perceptions, enjoyment, and arousal.

The Journal of social psychology

PubMedID: 10897293

Berry M, Gray T, Donnerstein E. Cutting film violence: effects on perceptions, enjoyment, and arousal. J Soc Psychol. 1999;139(5):567-82.
The authors investigated the effects of cutting specific graphic scenes of film violence on self-reports of arousal, enjoyability, and perceptions of violence among a sample of U.S. students. In 3 studies, they varied film exposure from 1 1/2 min in the 1st study to a complete motion picture (American vs. British version of same film) in the 3rd. In all 3 studies, the participants rated the cut versions as less violent than the uncut versions. The participants distinguished quite subtle differences in levels of violence, even when the cuts were minor and contextualized within an entire movie. Cutting the movie significantly increased its enjoyability for the women; for the men, there was no significant difference. Cutting violent films made no difference in arousal for the men but substantially lowered self-report levels of arousal for the women.