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News about tragedies make us unhappy – and hungry more, studying the findings



Flowers assigned to victims of the night club "Pulse" in June 2016.
Image: Gerardo Mora (Getty Images)

A Wednesday survey may simply confirm your worst fears of staying stuck to Twitter or cable news during a mass tragedy, such as the last school. This suggests that during the coverage of these events in the media, you can create a vicious cycle of emotions that not only sends you to despair, but also gives you greater probability of adjusting to the next big crime. The achievements of researchers at the University of California, Irvine were used by GfK KnowledgePanel, a service that offers small cash rewards to users for every online or telephone survey that they take. Although the service has its own limitations (people who regularly take paid surveys may not be representatives of the general population), it has also allowed researchers to study the same group of people for a long time with relative ease, in this case, about three years.

They surveyed nearly 4,500 people shortly after the bombing of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, killing three people, and more than 250 wounded. Among other things, these volunteers were asked about their emotional reaction to the bombing, their media coverage of the attack, and how they are concerned about what happens in the future.

Other studies have shown that people who had the greatest influence on the tragedy were more likely to experience stress even when they were asked again after six months. For biennial bombing, they were still more concerned about the future. And when they were screened at least ninety days after filming the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, these people were also more likely to report that coverage of the event in the media. As before, people who were tuned to impulse shooting were more prone to this.

"These findings reinforce the previous work of our laboratory (and others), which constantly manifests the relationship between events associated with media consumption and stress symptoms after a collective trauma, for example, an event of massive violence," – chief author Rebecca Thompson, a psychologist at UCI, told Gizmodo by email. "Our research is unique in that it is the first to demonstrate the regularities of the repeated media exposure to mass violence and suffering over time and during many events, among a large sample of individuals who have been observed for several years." [19659005] It is right to reflect on how responsible social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can contribute to this cycle, given that they often exacerbate our worst impulses and regularly allow bad actors to spread false or misleading reports of public tragedy ( with the recent cathedral of the Notre Dame Cathedral). Thompson and her team took into account the different ways in which people get their news by asking volunteers about their impact on seven different sources of media consumption, including social media. But they were not annoying, how often people received news from any department, or the individual influence of these different exits on our collective psyche.

"Such a question is the center of constant work in our laboratory," he said. Thompson

Depression, as it may be the study, is unlikely to be the first to find a similar "infection effect" with the media. Studies regularly show that celebrity suicide media may increase the risk of spectators experiencing suicidal ideation or suicide. But just as public health organizations have set up guiding principles for responsible suicide reports for the media that should be followed (even if they often do not), Thompson says there are ways to mass media. Desperate Despair That They Call In Their Audiences.

For the media, we recommend that you hang up the sensational aspects of coverage of events with new news so as not to cause excessive anxiety and trouble among viewers, "she said.

The viewers themselves can take measures to protect their emotional state when the next mass tragedy will inevitably come.

"For those at home, we recommend more care when choosing how much media coverage they consume," she said. "Using the media for information during a mass tragedy is not psychologically harmful in itself, but not allowing itself to absorb these events when they occur, can minimize some of the problems that we see from our respondents"


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