It might be suggested that the procatharsis and anticatharsis messages caused people to experience the punching bag activity differently. Our measures of enjoyment failed to find any such difference, however.
In general, empirical findings have been inconsistent with the catharsis hypothesis (see reviews by , and ). concluded that "it is time to put a bullet, once and for all, through heart of the catharsis hypothesis. The belief that observing violence (or 'ventilating it') gets rid of hostilities has virtually never been supported by research" (p. 194). Because activities considered to be cathartic also are aggressive, they could lead to the activation of other aggressive thoughts, emotions, and behavioral tendencies, which in turn could lead to greater anger and aggression (; ).
What is the meaning of 'catharsis' in a tragedy? - …
Correlation analysis was performed to determine the relations among the three dependent measures (i.e., desire to hit the punching bag, enjoyment of hitting the punching bag, and interpersonal aggression) for participants who hit the punching bag. As can be seen in ,desire to hit the punching bag and enjoyment of hitting the punching bag were positively correlated with interpersonal aggression. In addition, angered participants who wanted to hit the punching bag also enjoyed hitting it more. These results contradict any suggestion that hitting the punching bag would have beneficial effects because one might feel better after doing so (which is what advocates of catharsis often say). People did indeed enjoy hitting the punching bag, but this was related to more rather than less subsequent aggression toward a person.
Catharsis Theory and Media Effects - Dictionary …
Therefore, catharsis was successfully used in psychodrama to reveal deep and long-standing negative emotions and neutralize the negative impact of related traumatic experiences (Kipper, 1997).
Definition of Catharsis Theory and Media Effects ..
A potential alternative explanation for these results would be that demand characteristics affected the results. After all, the message advocating catharsis through hitting the punching bag led people to choose the punching bag activity. These effects were only found among angered participants, suggesting that participants did not simply, blindly, and uncritically exhibit whatever behavior the message had advocated. Still, it was possible that participants were simply furnishing the responses that, on the basis of the persuasive message, they believed the researchers wanted, and the design of Study 1 did not offer any easy way to rule that out. However, Study 2 did offer a better opportunity to discern whether behavior was a simple response to demand characteristics or a more complex result of information processing and motivated selection of behaviors.
After reviewing the scientific research ..
The present investigation was concerned with how people are affected by media messages supporting (vs. questioning) catharsis. Study 1 examined whether people can be persuaded by such messages to choose expressive ways of dealing with anger. Specifically, we hypothesized that exposure to a message advocating catharsis would induce people to choose to hit a punching bag when angry.
once and for all, through the heart of the catharsis hypothesis.
However, an alternative, darker scenario might be proposed if the self-fulfilling prophecy effect is weaker than the aggression-enhancing effects of expressing anger. In this view, belief in catharsis could cause people to choose to express anger, but these actions would increase, rather than decrease, their feelings of anger and their aggressive inclinations. As a result, people would end up behaving more aggressively than they would have otherwise. The media endorsement of catharsis would thus have the potential for increasing violence through a self-prophecy effect: The expectation elicits behavior that produces results opposite of what was expected.