An analysis of the link between violence in television causing real life violence

PinIt Instapaper Pocket Email Print In the days since Wayne LaPierre of the NRA blamed the Sandy Hook massacre on violent movies and video games in particular, for some reason, Natural Born Killers, a film that came out 19 years ago and was a critique of the media's obsession with violencea number of people in the entertainment industry have been asked about whether their products contribute to real-world violence, and they've seemed extremely uncomfortable answering the question.

An analysis of the link between violence in television causing real life violence

Media effects theories[ edit ] Social learning theory[ edit ] Social learning theory originated with Bandura's which suggests that children may learn aggression from viewing others.

An analysis of the link between violence in television causing real life violence

Bandura presented children with an Aggressive Model: The model played with 'harmless' tinker toys for a minute or so but then progressed onto the Bobo doll, the model lay the Bobo doll down and was violent towards it; punched its nose, hit it with a mallet, tossed it in the air, and kicked it.

In addition, verbal comments were made in relation. The findings of this experiment suggest that children tended to model the behavior they witnessed in the video. This has been often taken to imply that children may imitate aggressive behaviors witnessed in media.

However, Bandura's experiments have been criticized e. Gauntlett, on several grounds.

Questioning the role of media violence in violent acts - CBS News

First, it is difficult to generalize from aggression toward a bo-bo doll which is intended to be hit to person-on-person violence. Secondly, it may be possible that the children were motivated simply to please the experimenter rather than to be aggressive.

In other words, the children may have viewed the videos as instructions, rather than incentives to feel more aggressive. Third, in a latter study Bandura included a condition in which the adult model was punished for hitting the bo-bo doll by himself being physically punished.

Specifically the adult was pushed down in the video by the experimenter and hit with a newspaper while being berated. This actual person-on-person violence actually decreased aggressive acts in the children, probably due to vicarious reinforcement.

Nonetheless these last results indicate that even young children don't automatically imitate aggression, but rather consider the context of aggression. Given that some scholars estimate that children's viewing of violence in media is quite common, concerns about media often follow social learning theoretical approaches.

The concept of desensitization has particularly gotten much interest from the scholarly community and general public. It is theorized that with repeated exposure to media violence, a psychological saturation or emotional adjustment takes place such that initial levels of anxiety and disgust diminish or weaken.

They were then asked to watch a minute video of real life violence. The students who had played the violent video games were observed to be significantly less affected by a simulated aggressive act than those who didn't play the violent video games.

Nickie Phillips

However the degree to which the simulation was "believable" to the participants, or to which the participants may have responded to "demand characteristics" is unclear see criticisms below.

Nonetheless, social cognitive theory was arguably the most dominant paradigm of media violence effects for many years, although it has come under recent criticism e.

Freedman, ; Savage, Recent scholarship has suggested that social cognitive theories of aggression are outdated and should be retired. The catalyst model is a new theory and has not been tested extensively. According to the catalyst model, violence arises from a combination of genetic and early social influences family and peers in particular.

According to this model, media violence is explicitly considered a weak causal influence. Specific violent acts are "catalyzed" by stressful environment circumstances, with less stress required to catalyze violence in individuals with greater violence predisposition.

Some early work has supported this view e. Recent research with inmates has, likewise, provided support for the catalyst model. Moral panic theory[ edit ] A final theory relevant to this area is the moral panic.

Elucidated largely by David Gauntlett[9] this theory postulates that concerns about new media are historical and cyclical. In this view, a society forms a predetermined negative belief about a new medium—typically not used by the elder and more powerful members of the society. Research studies and positions taken by scholars and politicians tend to confirm the pre-existing belief, rather than dispassionately observe and evaluate the issue.

Eventually the panic dies out after several years or decades, but ultimately resurfaces when yet another new medium is introduced. Criticisms[ edit ] Although organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have suggested that thousands according to the AAP of studies have been conducted confirming this link, others have argued that this information is incorrect.Aug 05,  · Other studies have explored the relationship between violent programming and real-life, serious violence--and have also found smaller, although statistically significant, links.

The relationship between violent media and real-world violence has been the subject of extensive “The Contested Field of Violent Video Games,” gives an overview of recent scholarship on video games and societal violence, including ones that support a link and others Journalist’s Resource is an open-access site that curates.

But research is clearly lacking on a direct causal relationship between violent video games and youth violence. Analyses of school shooting incidents from the U.S.

Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime do not support a link between violent games and real world attacks. The Link between TV Violence and the Violence of Children Children watch a lot of television.

TV has even become a babysitter. There is more violence portrayed on television than in earlier years. Virtually since the dawn of television, parents, teachers, legislators and mental health professionals have wanted to understand the impact of television programs, particularly on children.

Of special concern has been the portrayal of violence, particularly given psychologist Albert Bandura's work.

The truth is that decades of research have turned up no reliable causal link between playing violent video games and perpetrating actual violence.

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Violent media and real-world behavior: Historical data and recent trends - Journalist's Resource