Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA17880 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 14 Jan 2002 12:18:54 GMT Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3102A6D1DD@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: CRASH CONTAGION Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 11:48:58 -0000 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
>>"so the notion of people seeing acts as more legitimate because
>>others are seen to perform them is problematised."
<yes it is problematised - and as with anything in a complex
> social world in which one or many events can have one or many outcomes,
> there can be no irrefutable evidence - the best we can do is produced
> narratives with internal and external consistency.>
Agreed, but if only this is what the effects community actually did.
<TO this end there IS a wealth of laboratory experimental evidence
> demonstrates disinhibition via media. You can dismiss such laboratory
> experiments of course because they are conducted in artificial
There are many reasons to dismiss lab based experiments, not least
the inconsistency of the results, the unnatural setting, the problem of
extent of exposure, the problem of the extent of apparent effect and so on.
More worrying to my mind is the extent to which proponents of strong media
effects persist in referencing discredited studies (e.g. Bandura's bobo doll
<There IS also a wealth of natural experimental evidence that
> effects expected by disinhibition - which you can also dismiss because not
> all variables are controlled for - precisely because they are conducted in
> the real world.>
And yet surely these external variables are precisely what one
should be looking for? Why don't these studies, again decades worth of
studies, do this? Because people want a simple scapegoat.
<So Heads I lose, Tails I lose - You can dismiss natural experiments
for not isolating Ind Variable and Dep Variable, and you can dismiss
> experiments becasue they do the opposite. But on the balance of imprecise
> evidence available - media contagion is the best explanation I have come
> accross for unexpected rises in events following mediate exposure to
> similar events.>
You're entitled to your professional opinion. Maybe one day we'll
get an answer. I don't think, however, that we should base our views on
flawed- not imprecise, flawed- data. What you have to do, in my mind, is
explain why, apparently, only some kinds of social phenomena increase after
media exposure, how it happens if it does and so on. Despite my poo-pooing
of the root notion, I should say I think your efforts at bringing memetics
into the mix here is commendable, and very interesting. I know I'm a bit
terse at times, but I don't mean to be half the time, and certainly not to
you who, after all, is really getting on with some important work in the
>>You only have to look at
>>the complex range of suggested effects of violence in the
>>literature, as witnessed in media, from catharsis to
>>disinhibition (not unlike the social facilitation idea).
<Disinhibition differs, by the way, according to standard teminology
> pys from social facilitation by the presence a prior approach-avoidance
Well I didn;t say it was the same thing...
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