Kirsh, S.J., & Olczak, P.V. (2002). The effects of extremely violent comic books on social information processing. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17 (11), 1160-1178.

Abstract:  This study investigated the effects of reading extremely violent comic books (EVCB) versus nonviolent comic books (NVCB) on the interpretation of overt and relational ambiguous provocation situations. 249 introductory psychology students read either EVCB or NVCB. After reading the comic books, participants read hypothetical stories in which overt or relational aggression occurred but the intent of the provocateur was ambiguous. After each story, participants were asked a series of questions about the provocateur’s intent, potential retaliation toward the provocateur, and the provocateur’s emotional state. Trait hostility was significantly related to hostile responding. Regardless of the type of aggression, participants reading EVCB responded more negatively than participants reading NVCB did. Males responded more negatively to the overt scenarios, whereas females responded more negatively to the relational scenarios. Results indicate that interpretation of ambiguous material appears to be affected by a number of variables, including gender, trait hostility, and violent media. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)