ResearchAustralia & US: content warnings insufficient

Australia & US: content warnings insufficient

Trigger warnings, content warnings and content notes are more likely to heighten anxiety, while being ineffective at stopping a person from viewing sensitive material, a study suggests.

Researchers compared 12 studies to determine the effects of content warnings on negative reactions, avoidance behaviour, and comprehension. Participants included those who were trauma survivors and others who were not.

Analysis concluded that content warnings were more likely to increase anticipatory anxiety, and did not increase avoidance. Warnings also did not reduce emotional distress, fear, or anxiety, and did not affect comprehension or understanding of written material.

Researcher Victoria Bridgland of Flinders University, said: ‘We need more strategies to give people versus just putting a warning on something and assuming that is going to give them a toolkit for mental health.’

Image | Unsplash


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