Xie, G., & Lee, M. (2008, June). Anticipated violence, arousal, and enjoyment of movies: Viewers’ reactions to violent previews based on arousal-seeking tendency. Journal of Social Psychology, 148(3), 277-292. Retrieved June 17, 2009, doi:10.3200/SOCP.148.3.277-292

The authors investigated the effects of violent portrayals in movie previews on viewers’ arousal and anticipated enjoyment of movies based on their arousal-seeking tendencies. A total of 159 college students watched 6 movie previews, each in a violent or nonviolent version, and reported their expectations of enjoying watching the movies. The results show that high arousal seekers reported a higher level of anticipated enjoyment after watching the violent previews than the nonviolent previews. In contrast, low arousal seekers did not expect much difference in their enjoyment between the two versions. In line with the theory of optimal stimulation level, the results indicate that viewers’ anticipated enjoyment of movies after watching violent images in previews is moderated by individuals’ arousal-seeking tendencies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)