Journal Articles

The Continuing Rise of Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies, 1985 to 2015

The Motion Picture Association of America created the parental guidance for children under age 13 years (PG-13) movie rating in 1984 to “strongly” caution parents about content that may not be suited for children of that age. According to that industry-supported group, “There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence.”
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The Importance of Relevant Emotional Arousal in the Efficacy of Pictorial Health Warnings for Cigarettes

Warning labels for cigarettes proposed by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were rejected by the courts partly because they were thought to be emotionally evocative but have no educational value. To address this issue, we compared three types of smoking warnings: (1) FDA-proposed warnings with pictures illustrating the smoking hazards; (2) warnings with the same text information paired with equally aversive but smoking-irrelevant images; and (3) text-only warnings.
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Culturally antagonistic memes and the Zika virus: an experimental test

This paper examines a remedy for a defect in existing accounts of public risk perceptions. The accounts in question feature two dynamics: the affect heuristic, which emphasizes the impact of visceral feelings on information processing; and the cultural cognition thesis, which describes the tendency of individuals to form beliefs that reflect and reinforce their group commitments.
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Cross-pressuring conservative Catholics? Effects of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the U.S. public opinion on climate change

In an encyclical released in June of 2015, Pope Francis cast the need to address climate change as a moral imperative. Using nationally-representative surveys with supplemental samples of Catholics, we investigate changes in the U.S. public’s post-encyclical attitudes about climate change and the Catholic pontiff.
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