Studies of Media Influence on Youth
- The Photoplay: A Psychological Study published 1916
- the mind creates depth and movement from movie images
- "the soul longs for the whole interplay" of spatial and temporal dimensions
- audience feelings are heightened, concentrated, enlarged with a "high degree of their suggestibility during those hours in the dark house."
- power of movies to speed up the action, simplify social conflicts
- audience may emulate crime and violence or may do good
- The allure of movie power evident when Chaplin, Fairbanks, Pickford visited Chicago school, the "electrical, wonderful grasp" of the celebrities over children and teachers
- Supreme Court 1915 upheld right of states to censor movies
Payne Fund Studies
- William Short obtained grant from Payne Fund for 4-year study 1929-32
- to be a weapon in the cultural struggle for social control by guardians of tradition
- 19 psychologists and sociologists from 7 universities - 12 research tasks
- 9 reports pblished 1933, 2 more by 1935
- University of Iowa study - electrodes on children's bodies during love-making scenes
- Herbert Blumer in his Movies and Conduct "put forward the most far-reaching hypothesis about the impact of movies on American society."
- Blumer used student autobiographies - a boy "learned to kiss a girl on her ears, neck, and cheeks, as well as on the mouth" - a girl learned movie stars kissed with eyes closed - romance is something that happens quickly - "I kiss and pet much more than I would otherwise"
- movies had "a profound effect upon fantasy life" - dreams and passions far removed from reality
- Movies and Conduct "provided the most effective propaganda against the movies."
- Henry James Forman wrote summary volume Our Movie-Made Children, argued that movies were a "gigantic educational system"
Seduction of the Innocent
- 1953 study by Frederic Wertham of influence of crime comic books on youth, the result of 7 years investigation funded by National Research Council
- "In some of the crime comic books kids pick up ideas. . . plenty of sex. They show you unexposed [sic] women, men beating up girls and breaking their arms. The fellows see that and they want to try it." - 15-year old girl (p. 73)
comic book ca. 1950
comic book ca. 1950