Influence of Context on the Perception of Violence

Sania Anand, Shaina Anand

Vol. 14, Jul-Dec 2022


This research investigated whether context influences the perception of a viewed violent physical human action. It was studied whether context influences perception of the violent act in terms of the severity of the violence displayed by the perpetrator and the perceived intensity of the pain experienced by the victim. It was also investigated whether context in fact guided the perception of the act as an assault or battery. It was found that context influenced both the perception of violence by the perpetrator and the pain felt by the victim. Though subjective estimates were influenced by context the objective interpretation of the act as an assault of battery was not influenced. This is relevant as it shows how witnessing a human action involves contextual influence and that what we see is not what we perceive.

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