FORGET ‘TRIGGER WARNINGS’
They are a favored form of virtue signaling among college professors and feminists who insist certain images or statements should be accompanied by a cautionary statement.
“Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful,” says Mevagh Sanson, a psychology scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
“It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress,” notes Ms. Sanson, who gauged reactions of 1,394 people exposed to test trigger warnings.
“Their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them to interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger,” says Ms. Sanson, whose research was published in Clinical Psychological Science.