ISSN 2312-5160

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Current Issues of Mass Communication, 2018, no. 24, pp. 08-21

ISSN 2312-5160


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Shifts in the Autonomic Nervous System Defined by the Valence of TV News

Sergii Tukaiev * (a) , Yurii Havrylets (a) , Volodymyr Rizun (a) , Maksym Khylko (a) , Igor Zyma (b) , Mukola Makarchuk (b) , Evdokia Reshetnik (b) , Victoriia Kravchenko (b) , Olena Dolgova (c) , Ivan Seleznov (d)

(a) Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 36/1 Illienka str., 04119, Kyiv, Ukraine
(b) Institute of Biology and Medicine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, 2 Akademika, Glushkova prosp., 03022 Kyiv, Ukraine
(c) Institute of the Humanities, National Aviation University, 1 Komarova prosp., 03058 Kyiv, Ukraine
(d) Faculty of Electronics, National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic, Institute”, 16 Politekhnichna str., 03056 Kyiv, Ukraine

* Corresponding author’s e-mail address: tukaev[@]



The pattern and nature of autonomic nervous system responses largely depend on the type of emotion. The study was aimed at defining shifts in the autonomic nervous system that accompany the emotional activation under the influence of emotionally accented TV news.

Results indicated that a heart rate decelerated in a few minutes after the watching neutral video set. At the same time, throughout the viewing of the video, the activity of the parasympathetic system and the stress index decreased. Negatively accented TV news caused more complex changes. For men, the significant changes in heart rate were recorded only during the first TV news items. On the other hand, negative TV news stories elicited the most significant changes in parasympathetic system and stress index – these changes occurred in the middle of exposure to negative TV news set. The impact was stronger and more complicated for women and consisted of decreasing heart rate while watching TV news stories and accelerating heartbeats in the pause between them. A significant decrease in the parasympathetic system activity occurred after watching negative TV news. Regarding all the parameters, negative TV news stories exerted more significant influence on the psycho-physiological condition of the volunteers than neutral TV stories.

Our study revealed the short-term media effects of negative and neutral TV news on the activation patterns of the autonomic nervous system. The short-term reactions of the individual to the mass media are those bricks that underlie a large-scale picture of the media impact on a mass audience. The fact of the existence of short-term media effects gives the base for a further research on the cumulative nature of TV news content’s impact on people, including the longitudinal perspective of media effects.


KEYWORDS: TV news; autonomic nervous system; heart rate; emotion.



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