Email Watching violence on television can encourage a child to act more aggressively even 15 years later, according to one of the few TV violence studies to follow children into adulthood.
We tested for the existence of both short-term and long-term effects for aggressive behavior. We also tested the theory-driven hypothesis that short-term effects should be greater for adults and long-term effects should be greater for children. As expected, the short-term effects of violent media were greater for adults than for children whereas the long-term effects were greater for children than for adults.
The results also showed that there were overall modest but significant effect sizes for exposure to media violence on aggressive behaviors, aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, arousal levels, and helping behavior. In contrast, long-term effects require the learning encoding of scripts, schemas, or beliefs.
Children can encode new scripts, schemas, and beliefs via observational learning with less interference and effort than adults. The body of empirical research linking children's exposure to media violence with subsequent increases in their aggressive and violent behavior was already substantial by the s.
The Surgeon General's Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior report 1 and the National Institute of Mental Health year follow-up report 2 provided widely accessible summaries of this growing body of research.
By the s, most child development scholars had accepted the theory that exposure to media violence, at least during some periods of a child's development, increased their risk for aggression. We then use meta-analyses to show that, on the whole, the available empirical data show the patterns one would expect from this theory.
Although the focus of this article is on exposure to media violence, the theoretical premise is that the same processes operate when children are exposed to media violence as when they are exposed to violence on the street, in the home, or among their peers.
The psychological processes that link children's exposure to violence with subsequent increases in children's aggressive behaviors can be divided into those that produce more immediate but transient short-term changes in behavior and those that produce more delayed but enduring long-term changes in behavior.
Long-term increases in children's aggressive behavior are now generally agreed to be a consequence of the child's learning scripts for aggressive behavior, cognitions supporting aggression, and aggression-promoting emotions through the observation of others behaving violently. This observational learning generally requires the repeated observation of violence.
On the other hand, short-term increases in children's aggressive behavior following the observation of violence are owing to 3 other quite different psychological processes: Neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists posit that the human mind acts as an associative network in which ideas are partially activated, or primed, by stimuli that they are associated with.
Thus, an encounter with an event or object can prime related concepts, ideas, and emotions in a person's memory, even without the person being aware of it.
Any cognitions, behaviors, or emotions that have ever been linked to an observed violent scene will be activated within milliseconds when that scene is observed. Human and primate young have an innate tendency to imitate whomever they observe.
Observed violence often consists of high-action sequences that are very arousing for youth as measured by increased heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance of electricity, and other physiological indices of arousal.
To the extent that media violence highly arouses the observer, aggressive behaviors may become more likely in the short run for 2 possible reasons. First, high arousal generated by exposure to violence makes any dominant response tendency more likely to be carried out in the short term.
Consequently, the child with aggressive tendencies behaves even more aggressively. This process is called excitation transfer. Observational learning is a powerful extension of imitation in which logical induction and abstraction are used to encode complex representations.• A recent study (Seppa, ) shows that 58% of TV programs contain violence, and of those, 78% showed no remorse, criticism, or penalty for the violence.
Additionally, characters portrayed as heroes or desirable role models initiated 40% of the violent incidents (Cantor et al., ). - Television reaches children at a younger age and for more time than any other socializing institution except the family. - By age 18, a U.S.
youth will have seen 16, simulated murders and , acts of violence. It is hoped that the National Television Violence Study will contribute to a larger national dialogue about the causes and prevention of violence that places television violence in its broader context among many other factors contributing to violence in society, including gangs, the availability of guns, poverty and racism.
In a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers reported the results of a program designed to limit the exposure of preschool children to violence-laden videos and television shows and increase their time with educational programming that encourages empathy. Violence and aggressive behaviour.
Young people view over rapes, murders, armed robberies, and assaults every year sitting in front of the television set Recently published, the three year, National Television Violence Study examined nearly 10 hours of television programming and found that 61% contained violenceChildren's programming was found to be the most violent.
Two inclusion criteria were used. First, the study needed to include a measure or manipulation of violent media exposure (eg, TV programs, films, video games, music, and comic books). Second, the study needed to include a measure of aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, or helping behavior.