Ragonesi, A., & Antick, J. (2008, October). Physiological responses to violence reported in the news. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 107(2), 383-395. Retrieved June 10, 2009, from PsycINFO database.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between watching the news and activation of the autonomic nervous system. A questionnaire was completed, and a saliva sample was collected from each of 33 participants before and after viewing a news and then a comedy clip. After exposure to the news, cortisol levels did not increase; participants reported a significant decrease in joy and an increase in restlessness. Participants reported a significant decrease in tiredness, sadness, irritation, anxiety, and restlessness, and an increase in relaxation and joy after exposure to the comedy clip. Higher rates of reported stress, in the past month were associated with significantly higher rates of reported feeling cold, trembling, close to tears, sweaty palms, difficulty breathing, and restlessness. The implications of the study and directions for research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)