The Wisdom of Wikipedia

Hi Folks! Just found this great Wikipedia entry. I hadn’t heard of “Mean World Syndrome” before, but it really makes sense! It’s almost a relief to have a name to give the ramped up fear so many parents feel. — Lenore

Mean World Syndrome (via Wikipedia)

Mean World Syndrome is a phenomenon where the violence-related content of mass media convinces viewers that the world is more dangerous than it actually is, and prompts a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat.[1] Mean World Syndrome is one of the main conclusions of cultivation theory. The term was coined by George Gerbner, a pioneer researcher on the effects of television on society, when he noted that people who watched a large amount of television tended to think of the world as an intimidating and unforgiving place.[2]

Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are said to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they are able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence. They also tend to have a wider variety of beliefs and attitudes.[3]