Community Lecture Series: "The Psychology of Violent Television"
Presenter: Dr. Jonathan Bassett
Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.
Dr. Jonathan Bassett will discuss the motives for and consequences of watching violent television as reviewed in his forthcoming book Death on the Small Screen: The Psychology of Watching Violent Television. The talk addresses the questions of why watching violence on television is so alluring and what the fascination with violent television says about those who watch it and the culture that celebrates it. The presentation will describe how death and violence continue to be mainstays of popular television programs even though actual mortality remains a taboo topic in our society. Bassett will explore how psychological research on the defenses people use to protect themselves against anxiety about death can shed light on the popularity of violence in television. Examples from several recent television series will be used to examine potential lessons to be learned from watching violence.
Dr. Jonathan F. Bassett is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological Science and Human Services at Lander University, where he teaches courses in the psychology of horror and death and dying. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Furman University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Georgia State University. His research focuses on the application of existential psychology to the analysis of popular culture.