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Studies on the introduction of tv television was not

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Unformatted text preview: r less aggressive peers, but the evidence is stronger that seeing a lot of media violence is a precursor of increased aggression even when social class, intellectual functioning, prior level of aggressiveness, and parenting are statistically controlled. Furthermore, Media Violence 29 the most recent studies suggest that this increased aggression in young adulthood includes very serious forms of aggression and violence. Studies on the Introduction of TV Television was not introduced in all communities at the same time. A few researchers have taken advantage of this variation in timing to examine TV's effects on aggression within a society (Joy, Kimball, & Zabrack, 1985). For example, Centerwall (1989a, 1989b, 1992) carried out timeseries analyses using aggregated data on crime and media viewing to examine the effect of the introduction of TV on violence in the United States, Canada, and South Africa (where television came on the scene only recently), comparing crime rates before and after the introduction of television. He concluded that the introduction of television, combined with frequent portrayal of violent acts, increases interpersonal violence in a society. However, this analysis must be viewed with caution because of other factors that might have influenced national crime rates at the same time. For methodological reasons, more convincing evidence is provided by Williams (1986), who found an increase in the level of children's aggression in one Canadian community after TV was introduced to it, although two comparable communities (without TV) showed no such increase. Even in this case, though, caution must be exercised in drawing any conclusions, because Williams assessed the total amount of TV viewing, not the amount of media violence to which the children were being exposed. Finally, Hennigan et al. (1982) reported that rates of larceny went up more in American cities in which TV was introduced than in comparable American cities in which TV was not yet available. Again, caution is required in interpreting these results, because there is no way to know what aspect of TV might be responsible (e.g., rising consumer desires promoted by commercials might lead to increases in stealing). In summary, the investigations of the relatively immediate aftereffects of the introduction of television do not contradict the conclusion, drawn from the other types of studies, that TV violence stimulates aggression in young viewers, but these Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 30 investigations do not provide much corroborative support either. Studies on Television News Violence Does seeing violence in news coverage encourage imitative, or “copycat,” behavior? There are many anecdotal reports of people imitating fictional violence. For example, it has been claimed that the movie Taxi Driver led directly to John Hinckley's attack on President Reagan. Despite the frequency of these presumed instances of a “contagion of violence,” however, there has been relatively little research examining how news stories of aggressive events affect behavior. Most such investigations have been time-series field studies that have compared data on a community's violence rate before and after some highly publicized news of a violent occurrence. On the whole, these studies support the notion of a contagion effect, with some of the best evidence indicating that stories of a well-known person’s suicide increase the likelihood that other people will also take their own lives (Phillips, 1979, 1982; Simon, 1979; Stack, 1989). Other investigations indicate there might also be a contagion of criminal violence. For example, a study by Berkowitz and Macaulay (1971) showed that there was a jump in the number of violent crimes, but not property crimes, after several high-profile murder cases in the early and mid-1960s, including the assassination of President Kennedy. However, some of the research in this area has been questioned, and the results are subject to various interpretations. For example, Phillips’s (1983) frequently cited finding of increases in violent crimes following televised prizefight has not been widely accepted by researchers because of methodological challenges (Baron & Reiss, 1985; see Phillips & Bollen, 1985, for a response) and the difficulties in explaining the specific pattern of results (e.g., increases only exactly 3 days after the event). Studies of Music Videos and Music Lyrics Music videos are also of concern because these videos are sometimes replete with violence. Even those that do not have explicit aggressive content often have antisocial overtones (Baxter, De Riemer, Landini, Leslie, & Singletary, 1985; Caplan, 1985; Rich, Woods, Goodman, Emans, & Media Violence 31 DuRant, 1998), and music videos are widely watched by adolescents. Randomized Experiments No experimental studies to date have examined how exposure to music videos affects youths’ physically aggressive behavior. However, Waite, Hillbrand, and Foster (1992) observed a significant decrease in aggressive behavior on a forensic inpatient ward after removal of Music Tele...
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2013 for the course ELECTRICAL 205 taught by Professor Tom during the Spring '13 term at American University in Cairo.

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