Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Meaner than fiction: Reality TV high on aggression, study shows

Date:
May 22, 2010
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
Researchers looked at five reality shows and five non-reality shows and found 52 acts of aggression per hour on reality TV compared to 33 per hour for the non-reality programs.

All the gossip, insults and dirty looks add up fast on popular reality shows, far outpacing the level seen in equally popular dramas, comedies and soap operas according to a new Brigham Young University study.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

All the gossip, insults and dirty looks add up fast on popular reality shows, far outpacing the level seen in equally popular dramas, comedies and soap operas according to a new Brigham Young University study.

The researchers looked at five reality shows and five non-reality shows and found 52 acts of aggression per hour on reality TV compared to 33 per hour for the non-reality programs.

"The Apprentice" topped the list at 85 acts of verbal or relational aggression per hour.

Simon Cowell and "American Idol"checked in a little lower at 57 aggressive acts per hour -- but then again, backbiting is tough to do while singing.

"I knew the level of aggression was going to be high, but I had no idea it was going to be this high," said Sarah Coyne, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study. Coyne's findings will appear in the June issue of The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

The researchers analyzed 120 hours of programming and coded every instance of physical, verbal and relational aggression. The 10 shows selected for the study are popular with audiences in Britain, although several shows are American productions.

And despite the "reality" label, half of the aggression appeared to be incited by producers. One common tactic is to put participants in a booth and bait them into saying something nasty about their competitors.

What's the big deal?

Numerous other studies, including one by Coyne, demonstrate that meanness rubs off on viewers. And that was using very contrived and clearly fictional scenes.

"Of any type of program out there, I would think that reality programs are the most likely to be imitated," Coyne said. "All audiences think it won't affect them, but we aren't as immune as we think we are."

Professor David Nelson from BYU's School of Family Life is a coauthor on the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham Young University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brigham Young University. "Meaner than fiction: Reality TV high on aggression, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191235.htm>.
Brigham Young University. (2010, May 22). Meaner than fiction: Reality TV high on aggression, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191235.htm
Brigham Young University. "Meaner than fiction: Reality TV high on aggression, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100521191235.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Uzi Shooting Spurs Debate Over Children Using Guns

Uzi Shooting Spurs Debate Over Children Using Guns

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A 9-year-old girl fatally shot her instructor after losing control of her Uzi at a firing range. Critics question why she had the gun to begin with. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
ICREACH: NSA Built A Google Of Americans' Info

ICREACH: NSA Built A Google Of Americans' Info

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) The Intercept published an article Monday profiling what the online publication called NSA's very own Google of personal data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Activists Urge NYC Mayor to Ban Carriage Horses

Activists Urge NYC Mayor to Ban Carriage Horses

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) A group of New Yorkers are putting Mayor Bill de Blasio on notice for what they say is reneging on his campaign promise to ban carriage horses. They rallied Tuesday near the mayor's Gracie Mansion home. (Aug. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins