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Br J Psychol. 1997 Feb;88 ( Pt 1):85-91.

The psychological impact of negative TV news bulletins: the catastrophizing of personal worries.

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School of Cognitive & Computing Science, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK.


This study investigated the effect of the emotional content of television news programmes on mood state and the catastrophizing of personal worries. Three groups were shown 14-min TV news bulletins that were edited to display either positive-, neutral- or negative-valenced material. Participants who watched the negatively valenced bulletin showed increases in both anxious and sad mood, and also showed a significant increase in the tendency to catastrophize a personal worry. The results are consistent with those theories of worry that implicate negative mood as a causal factor in facilitating worrisome thought. They also suggest that negatively valenced TV news programmes can exacerbate a range of personal concerns that are not specifically relevant to the content of the programme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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