Image 01 Image 03

New Research Finds Trigger Warnings Have ‘Little Effect’

New Research Finds Trigger Warnings Have ‘Little Effect’

“This is the first piece of empirical work directly examining if [trigger warnings] have their intended effects”

Is anyone surprised by this? Should anyone who claims to need trigger warnings be in college in the first place?

The College Fix reports:

Research finds trigger warnings have ‘little effect’ on emotional response – even for victims

Are trigger warnings in the classroom helping students better deal with troubling topics in the curriculum? No.

Are they making students even more sensitive and unable to deal with everyday life? Also no.

According to new research published in Clinical Psychological Science, the approximate effect of trigger warnings, at least in the short term, is ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

A press release by the Association for Psychological Science, which publishes the journal, says the researchers ran six experiments on nearly 1,400 participants, a mix of college students and online participants.

“This is the first piece of empirical work directly examining if [trigger warnings] have their intended effects,” said lead author Mevagh Sanson of the University of Waikato. She was joined by Waikato colleague Maryanne Garry and Deryn Strange in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Participants were either shown a trigger warning ahead of video that “may contain graphic footage of a fatal car crash,” or shown the video without any warning. The same experiment was repeated in a text story rather than video.

They had similar responses regardless of seeing the warning or not, viewing video versus reading text, or even their backgrounds. Warnings had “little effect”:

Could it be that trigger warnings are specifically effective for those people who have previously experienced traumatic events? The data suggested the answer is no: There was little difference between groups. In other words, individuals with a personal history of trauma who received a trigger warning reported similar levels of distress as did those who did not receive a warning.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


healthguyfsu | March 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Two reasons:

1. Students don’t bother to read things any more.

2. Words and visuals/experiences are very different limbic influences on the brain.

    3. They will still choose/claim to be affected.

      healthguyfsu in reply to lc. | March 21, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Yep, there is power in victimhood, and that grub for power is a learned, conditioned response.

      Reminds me of:
      War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.