In reaction to the Comic Violence presentation, it would be appropriate first up to review their thesis: "By displacing viewers' anxieties through the use of slapstick humor, liking of the brand increases". The critical elements in their premise hence were supposed to be 'displacement', 'anxiety', 'slapstick humor' and 'likeness of brand'…
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It was given as a defense mechanism, which would actually redress the anxieties of the viewers, and help them appreciate reality in a better way. They endeavored to make a case advocating catharsis that this displacement helps ease things vis--vis anger. This is incorrect, because ironically, aggression itself is a venting-out mechanism and is unconsciously used by humans in response to an uncomforting stimulus. Now having a defense mechanism for a defense mechanism is just too perplexing for the cause of this simplistic thesis statement!
Here is where the second issue of 'anxiety' comes in question. There are other defense mechanisms apart from displacements which are used by humans to put their anxieties to rest. Freud and other psychoanalysts have added since long to this list, and major mentions include sublimation, rationalization, repression, regression and actualization etc. Thus, giving total credit to 'displacement' as the sole caretaker of anxiety as an emotion is scientifically incorrect. Anxiety itself is not a psychological problem, and many specialists say that it is normal and recommended to have a bare minimum of it at given times. It is actually imminent whenever adrenaline is secreted, and hence its presence is unavoidable. However, the presentation does not appropriately study and tackle the incidence of anxiety itself, what causes it, what may be the remedies. It has been wrongly mixed with 'frustration' and 'fear' that is prevalent these days after the 9/11 scenario.
'Slapstick humor' has sadly been confused with 'violence' many a times in their presentation. They are very different entities, and cannot and should not be psychologically put at par. Also, its link to likeness (or otherwise) of a brand has not been scientifically established in their study. There has been no research which can directly prove that one is the cause of the other on their part.
Elements and Transitions
There was a lot of talk and explanation about violence shown through media and adverts, which they believed would have a direct relation to the anxiety of the viewers, and their respective likeliness to a brand. However, interestingly, the word 'violence' is not present in their thesis, yet it has been given a lot of attention in their presentation. This has actually polluted the concepts of anxiety and the relevant defense mechanisms, as violence in itself is an independent variable that needs to be studied separately.
Furthermore, the reference to the comedy movies also seems ironical, as the amount of violence in them has been allegedly said to be linked with the deprivations of the society. While this may or may not be true, this is a clear shift on stance from the original thesis, which attempts to study anxiety and displacement due to humor alone. Additionally, the data presented about these movies does not really purport the cause of the hypothesis, as not all movies mentioned have incidences of violence in them. So really, giving these examples has actually been detrimental to the cause of their original thesis statement.
The final nail in the coffin was the focus group which they conducted, the results of whom did not correspond with their hypothesis. While they must be credited for their integrity of content here, there are two drastically incorrect
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