VICE | Do Trigger warnings actually work?


Published: 10May2019

Not everyone buys the idea that trigger warnings are innocuous. Jones and his colleagues’ research suggested that trigger warnings can cause people who don’t have PTSD—or who have not experienced any trauma relevant to the warning—to feel more vulnerable in the future. A study published earlier this year also noted that subjects who saw trigger warnings experienced a drop in their mood. This falls in line with longstanding concerns that trigger warnings could cause some people to feel more anxiety about warning-labeled material than they would have otherwise, at least in the short-term. The effect might be something like a dentist prefacing a procedure by describing the pain and telling you to brace yourself, says Robert Whitley, a McGill University psychologist.

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