Record #356

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Journal/magazine article
Reel 3
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Influence of screen - psychological research

'The Compensatory Function of the Movies," by Harvey C. Lehman and Paul A. Witty, from Journal of Applied Psychology. This emphasizes the movies as a form of escape, and compares the movie-going habits of white and black children.


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Lehman: "The Compensatory Function of the Movies" -- uses Freud as the basis for hypotheses about escape -- and then surveys the leisure pursuits if children in Kansas City. 80% of children aged 10 to 15 had attended in the week of the survey -- equal frequency among black and white children, but considered more enjoyable by whites than blacks and girls than boys -- about 40% of children listed it as a favorite activity -- more than any other activity. Explains its popularity because "the movie provides vicarious satisfaction for those fundamental desires which life most often inhibits or suppresses. The movie thus becomes an escape mechanism, a means by which reality is evaded, and desires fulfilled. ... It is at once apparent that too frequent attendance may yield undesirable results in the life of the growing child." Useful both because I don't think it's been much used, and because of the introduction of Freud and the relatively complex discussion of "escape" going on -- it may at some stage be necessary to consider how "escape" was understood.

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