Psychologist: Media abuse people’s emotions to attract attention

16.02.2018, Taganrog.

Exploiting emotions by media to attract attention causes people’s inability to empathize and sympathize, Daria Khaladzhiyeva, PhD in Psychology, said during a lecture on Emotions and Contemporary Culture in Taganrog, Russia, on February 16, a Rossa Primavera correspondent reports.

The psychologist stressed the impact of the emotional wording in news on people’s psychological state. “Just by looking at how the news are presented, I would say, there is a feeling that some kind of nightmare is happening all the time“, she said.

The reason for such feeling, according to the expert, is not the literal news content itself, but the use of emotions. “This emotional button is constantly pressed, pressed and pressed over and over again, somewhere“, Khaladzhieva noted.

As a result, a person, the psychologist argues, either accumulates stress leading to emotional trauma, or the person starts developing a psychological block: “I do not care, I am not able to do anything, I wash my hands of this, I cannot worry anymore“.

The specialist emphasized that the mass media, using this “emotional button” to draw attention to their stories, practically switches on a mechanism of saturation, fatigue and emotional exhaustion so that a person ceases to respond to what happens around them.

The number of independent press and media is steadily declining in the world. An overwhelming majority of all news sources, including news agencies, television, radio and newspapers, belong to a limited number of transnational corporations: Time Warner, News Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom/CBS Corporation, and Comcast/NBCUniversal.

The obvious manipulation of facts, and the exploitation of emotions by the media, which also includes propaganda purposes, is one of the most critical aspects of discussions in society and among experts.

On June 29, 2017 the Center for Strategic Research published a report on countering the influence of Western media. In the report, experts advised “to reduce the intensity of information confrontation in the Russian media” and “to position themselves as a source of objective and unbiased information“.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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