This is classic cultivation theory in mass communication — we see clips of violence, overestimate the prevalence of that violence, and it triggers psychological defense mechanisms to protect ourselves and our side.
Conor Friedersdorf is one of my favorite libertarians to read. He made this remark on Twitter after a summer of unrest captured on video:
It made me immediately think of George Gerbner’s cultivation theory. It’s an especially valuable teaching moment when mass communication theories from decades ago find newfound relevance on the smartphones in students’ hands today.
My thanks to Brian Stelter for giving an old media theory some new life.
Read the full story at CNN.
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