DefinitionWHAT IS MEAN WORLD SYNDROME?•The term “Mean World Syndrome" was coined by Dr. George Gerbner in hiswork “Cultivation Theory”.•This theory explains that, television has long-term effects which aresmall, gradual, indirect but cumulative and significant.•Heavy viewing of television is seen as „cultivating‟ attitudes which are moreconsistent with the world of television programmes than with the everydayworld.•Viewers who consume a lot of media, believe the world to be a moredangerous place than it actually is, creating a sense of anxiety, fear and angerthat is out of proportion with reality. This insecurity, often leads to a greaterdesire for protection from the perceived danger.•Mean World Syndrome is a debatable phenomenon where the violence-relatedcontent of mass media convinces viewers that the world is more dangerousthan it actually is.
TV Viewing:• There is a distinction between three groups of television viewers: • Light viewers • Medium viewers and • Heavy viewers .• This concept (Mean world Syndrome) focus on „heavy viewers‟.• People who watch a lot of television are likely to be more influenced by the ways in which the world is framed by television programs than are individuals who watch less, especially regarding topics of which the viewer has little first-hand experience.• Light viewers may have more sources of information than heavy viewers.• Gerbner‟s theory called the “mean world syndrome” says heavy television viewers are more likely to become more fearful of the world around them.
TV and Violence• Gerbner did a research on how violence in television effects society, he noted that people who watch a lot of TV think that world is a ruthless and scary place. And hence subconsciously they always remain in a state of fear and insecurity.• People are influenced by believing what they see or hear is real, and then making it their own belief.• People are influenced subconsciously; they not only see an act on television and decide “hey, that‟s a good idea...Ill do that”, but they see something so often that it becomes implemented into their minds as commonplace.• When any difficult event comes in their life, they snap and takes the extreme step like murdering someone.
Michigan first-grader fatally shot by classmate 29/02/00MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Reuters) –• A 6-year-old boy armed with a stolen gun Tuesday shot and killed his classmate, a girl his age, with a single bullet through the neck, the latest in a series of shootings in American schools.• Police and witnesses said the boy showed off the .32 caliber handgun to other students while the first grade class and the teacher were leaving the classroom.• He pointed it at another boy, then whirled around and shot Kayla Rolland once through the neck.
Some of the Movies whichshows the World is Mean:
Some of the issues which shows the World is Mean:Themes:Mean world syndrome can cause by the following themes,• Communal Riots• Marginalization• Rape• Murder etc Possible present day case histories causing Mean World Syndrome:• Soumya murder case- 2011 (who was pushed out of a moving train by a thief and brutally raped in the railway tracks)• Jessica Lal case- 1999 (shot at a party in Qutub colonnade restaurant in South Delhi)• Dandupalaya case- 1930‟s ( A gang which looted victims and slit their throats, and to withstand the sight of gore, they drank animal blood)
Effects of Mean World Syndrome:• Gerbner’s research found that those who watch greater amount of television are more likely to: 1. overestimate their risk of being victimized by crime 2. believe their neighborhoods are unsafe 3. believe "fear of crime is a very serious personal problem" 4. assume the crime rate is increasing, even when it is notExample:• In a survey of about 450 New Jersey schoolchildren, 73 percent of heavy viewers compared to 62 percent of light viewers gave the TV answer to a question asking them to estimate the number of people involved in violence in a typical week.• The same survey showed that children who were heavy viewers were more fearful about walking alone in a city at night.
Research on Mean World Syndrome:• A Norwegian study that included 20 teenage boys found that the lack of parental rules regulating what the boys watched was a more significant predictor of aggressive behavior than the amount of media violence they watched. It also indicated that exposure to real world violence, together with exposure to media violence, created an `overload‟ of violent events.• One of the research shows that some of the most sensational and terrifying stories on TV is aired on local news, which is the primary news source for two-third of all Americans. Studies show that 61 per cent of all lead stories in local news broadcasts are dedicated to crime, fire, and disaster.• Potter and Chang pointed out that any cultivation test must have at least two measures, Cultivation and exposure to TV. The cultivation measure usually is an estimate of the meanness or violence found in a respondent‟s world. Exposure to TV is measured as the number of hours “on an average day” or the number of evenings per week in which TV is viewed “at least one hour”.
Conclusion:• TV viewing colors our experiences and makes us less trusting of others, thus unwilling to participate in civic life.• We might see the world as a `mean‟ place, but believe that it is our moral obligation to make it better. Values are more likely to be shaped by family ties than by external influences such as TV• A viewer might reasonably think that the real world is cruel as well.• If you watch a lot of TV, you are likely to believe that the `world of TV‟ is the real world. And it is a `mean world,‟ where people don‟t trust each other, would try to take advantage of each other, and are looking out primarily for them• To over come Mean world syndrome, spend a week without watching any television. Television can fill your mind with negativity, bombard you with image manipulation via commercials and give you a distorted view of reality by showing you everything thats bad about the world.
Raktha Charithra - The Most Violent theme Song
Discussion:1. Are u a person who spends a lot of time watching TV/ Less than average?2. Do media affect your thinking behavior?
I f “YES” Then u are one among this category andu are suffering from Mean World Syndrome…