ABSTRACT

Audience research has shown that viewers may distinguish between portrayals of violence in terms oftheir possible significance or meanings they have for those individuals. According to some writers, people have "preformed maps" for schematically classifying aggressive acts. Television viewers use these maps to plot or classify violent behavior in three principal dimensions: physical versus verbal aggression; violence between strangers versus violence between acquaintances, and provoked versus unprovoked violence (Campbell, Muncer, & Gorman, 1993; Muncer et al., 1986).