David Buckingham (2002) posited the view that people are active viewers who can engage with the texts and deal with problematic material.
David Gauntlett (1998) has criticised the Effects Theory and has noted, "... if, after over sixty years of a considerable amount of research effort, direct effects of media upon behaviour have not been clearly identified, then we should conclude that they are simply not there to be found."
- Real world crime reportage is almost never criticised by effects theorists even though viewers should be more engaged with the real world than a fictional one
- Crime dramas are often very moral
- Gruesome sequences are intended to repulse viewers and are not shown for sadistic pleasure
- Someone whose mental faculties are already disturbed by illness caused by various factors, may be influenced by a media text, but it is unlikely to be the single causal factor behind a violent episode.