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Person in oversized coat, sunglasses, and hair falling across their face pointing a gun. Credit: Elijah O'Donnell.

Justified and Unjustified Movie Violence Evoke Different Brain Responses

In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania find that scenes of unjustified and justified violence in movies activate different parts of the adolescent brain. When movie characters engage in violence that is seen as justified, there is a synchronized response among viewers in a part of the brain involved in moral evaluation, suggesting that viewers see it as acceptable for protection.