mediaviolencefactsheet - Copy - Copy (2)

This study has been replicated with variations of

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Unformatted text preview: 1) after they had watched a film of a prizefight than after they had seen a movie of a track meet. The effect size was quite large (r =.75) and seemed to be accentuated by the viewers' noise-generated excitement. This study has been replicated with variations of film content and provocation with essentially identical results (see Berkowitz, 1993). Finally, Donnerstein and Berkowitz's (1981) study demonstrated that combining violent portrayals with sexual stimulation is particularly potent at stimulating male viewers to be more physically assaultive toward females who have provoked them. In this experiment, male university students watched either a movie portraying sex and violence, a nonviolent sex film, or a movie that was neither sexual nor violent and were then given an opportunity to retaliate against a woman who had angered them earlier, by giving her electric shocks. The men who had viewed the violent sex film punished the woman more intensely than did their counterparts who had watched either the neutral film or the nonviolent sex movie. Again, the effect size was quite large (r = .71). The six key experiments we have just reviewed all examined the immediate causal effect of media violence on physical aggression. A great many studies have also examined the immediate effect of media violence on aggressive thoughts or emotions (for reviews, see Berkowitz, 1993; Bushman & Huesmann, 2001; Geen, 2001; Rule & Ferguson, 1986). These studies are important to consider because research has shown that the risk of physically aggressive behavior against other people is increased among youth who believe that violence against others is acceptable (Huesmann Media Violence 21 & Guerra, 1997), in part because they believe that their targets are “bad” people and that punishing them is justified (e.g., Berkowitz, 1965; Berkowitz & Geen, 1967). Similarly, people who accept violence toward females (Byers & Eno, 1991; Lackie & de- Man, 1997), who view others as being hostile (Dodge & Frame, 1982), who believe that retaliation is "honorable" (Nisbett & Cohen, 1996), who fantasize about violence (Rosenfeld, Huesmann, Eron, & Torney-Purta, 1982), or who just simply think about violent words (Carver, Ganellen, Froming, & Chambers, 1983) also are at high risk for physical aggression against others. Typically, randomized experiments reveal that exposure to media violence can cause immediate increases in aggressive thoughts and tolerance for aggression in both children and older youth. For example, in studies with young children (Drabman & Thomas, 1974, 1975; Thomas & Drabman, 1975), youngsters shown a brief violent film clip were slower to call an adult to intervene when they saw two younger children fighting than were peers who had watched a neutral film. The single violent clip appeared to make the children more tolerant of aggression, at least temporarily. Similarly, Malamuth and Check (1981) found an increased acceptance of physical aggression toward women by college men several days after they had watched violent sex scenes. Still other studies have shown that college students randomly assigned to view a short violent film segment display more aggressive thoughts (e.g., Bushman, 1998) or more aggressive emotions (e.g., Anderson, 1997) than comparable students who are assigned to view a nonviolent film segment. Using a somewhat longer time frame, Zillmann and Weaver (1999) reported an experiment in which college-age males and females viewed either four violent or four nonviolent feature films on consecutive days. One day after viewing the last film, all participants took part in a supposedly unrelated study in which level of hostile behavior was assessed. Those who previously had seen the violent films exhibited significantly more hostility than did those who previously had seen the nonviolent films. Randomized Experiments: Meta-Analysis and Summary Anderson, Berkowitz, Donnerstein, Huesmann, Johnson, Linz, Malamuth, & Wartella 22 Three meta-analyses in the past 15 years have computed the overall effect sizes for randomized experiments investigating the influence of TV and movie violence on aggression (Hearold, 1986; Paik & Comstock, 1994; Wood, Wong, & Chachere, 1991). The most recent and comprehensive of these was the analysis of Paik and Comstock, who examined effect sizes from 217 studies published between 1957 and 1990. On the basis of 432 independent tests of effects in the randomized experiments they reviewed, Paik and Comstock found a moderate to large average effect size (r =.38). When the analysis was limited to experiments in which the outcome was classified as physical violence against a person, the 71 independent effect sizes yielded an average r of .32. The studies in the review reported 32 independent effect sizes for criminal violence against a person; among this group, the average effect size was smaller but still significant, r = .13. In summary, many well-controlled, randomized experiments have examined how exposure to violent TV and film media affects aggression in youths of a...
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