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ERIC Number: ED191589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Integrating Field and Laboratory Investigations of Televised Violence and Aggression.
Eron, Leonard D.; Huesmann, L. Rowell
Longitudinal and intervention laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the effects of viewing televised violence on the aggressive behavior of elementary school children. In the longitudinal study 505 children were studied over a 3-year period. The measures used included peer nominated aggression, aggression anxiety and popularity, self-ratings of aggression, sex role orientation, fantasy behavior, and various measures of television habits including frequency of viewing, violence of favorite programs, and identification with aggressive male and female television characters. Results indicated that all the correlations between television violence and aggression were significant. A subsample of 132 children classified as high violence viewers were selected for intervention efforts. Half of this group were given a series of interventions. The interventions were designed to convince the children that TV violence is unrealistic and should not be imitated. The other half of the subsample formed a control group which was shown non-violent excerpts followed by discussion. In a later intervention, subjects were asked to write essays on why TV violence is unrealistic and why viewing too much of it is bad. Four months following intervention, measures indicated that aggression scores for the experimental intervention group were lower than for those of the placebo group. Additionally, no significant relation was found between viewing television violence and aggression in the experimental group, though a positive relation between these two variables existed for the placebo group. Extent of identification with TV characters (ability to discriminate between reality and fantasy) was demonstrated to be an important mediating variable in the relation between television and aggression. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).