Cutting film violence: Effects on perceptions, enjoyment, and arousal

Mike Berry, Tim Gray, Ed Donnerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


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 1½ 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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