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There is a strong relationship between media and the belief systems we hold. It is especially important to examine the specific implications film has on our ideas about relationships. Romance, as a prevalent aspect of our lives, is commonly depicted in films across genres.

The purpose of this research is to identify how romance in film contributes to relationship abuse. Several psychological concepts will be used to consider an explanation—including cultivation theory, homophily, social learning theory, desensitization, and script theory. I hypothesize that both relational and physical abuse are in part derived directly from the media we consume, specifically what is seen in film. This literature review is a needed and relevant addition to the existing research for several reasons. While there is ample research that seeks to explore the effects of film content on viewers, many are limited to analyzing within the confines of specific genres. The present study differs in that it considers the broader perspective of romance in film across all genres. Romance plots or subplots in film often involve unrealistic portrayals of relationships, including endorsements of flawed romantic ideals, lack of realistic conflict shown, and unhealthy behaviors (such as abuse) rewarded.

With established psychological concepts, I will explain how media influences beliefs and behavior. Abuse will then be defined and analyzed in its many forms. Next, research surrounding romantic ideals and romantic media content will be considered. Finally, the concepts will be applied more specifically to romance in film to establish the effects on viewers.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
20 Jul 2022
202 kB



  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2022

  • Date submitted

    20 July 2022

  • Related URL
    • N/A

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Stephen Smith

      Related URL: