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ERIC Number: ED248029
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Fantasy and Children.
Feshbach, Seymour
Because fantasy has a special role in the lives of children, the meaning and consequences of fantasy experiences in children's lives are central psychological questions. Although the scientific study of fantasy is in its infancy, it does seem to be the case that children with rich fantasy lives have better self-control and are less likely to be impulsive and overly active than children with impoverished fantasy lives. Cathartic effects of viewing violent dramatic themes in television and films are not likely to occur; in fact, aggressive behavior may be stimulated by exposure to vicarious violence. In this area of psychological research, the challenge to the scientist is to determine combinations of factors that lead to an increase in aggression, conditions that mitigate or eliminate the impact of television violence, and conditions that facilitate a cathartic effect. In this regard, a critical factor is the extent to which a television drama is perceived either as a real event or as a form of make-believe or fantasy. Data indicate that violence on television perceived as fantasy strongly reduces aggression-stimulating effects and may even result in catharsis. Research results also indicate that children who watch a great deal of television are children whose internal fantasies are disturbing. In contrast, children whose fantasies are pleasant and who enjoy engaging in fantasy are children who read. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).