Members in the Media
From: Pacific Standard

Trigger Warnings Do Not Work, New Study Finds

Trigger warnings—those alerts provided to college students in advance of potentially disturbing material—have prompted an intense philosophical and ideological debate. But do they actually achieve their stated goal of reducing emotional distress when dealing with sensitive subjects?

New research from New Zealand comes to a firm conclusion: They do not.

“Trigger warnings are, at best, trivially helpful,” writes a research team led by psychologist Mevagh Sanson of the University of Waikato. The paper finds they “have no effect, or might even work slightly in the direction of causing harm.”

The study, in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, describes six experiments—two featuring university undergraduates and four whose participants were working adults recruited on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing website.

Read the whole story (subscription may be required): Pacific Standard

More of our Members in the Media >

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.