ERIC Number: EJ730099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Violence Exposure in Real-Life, Video Games, Television, Movies, and the Internet: Is There Desensitization?
Funk, Jeanne B.; Baldacci, Heidi Bechtoldt; Pasold; Tracie; Baumgardner, Jennifer
Journal of Adolescence, v27 n1 p23-39 Feb 2004
It is believed that repeated exposure to real-life and to entertainment violence may alter cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes, possibly leading to desensitization. The goal of the present study was to determine if there are relationships between real-life and media violence exposure and desensitization as reflected in related characteristics. One hundred fifty fourth and fifth graders completed measures of real-life violence exposure, media violence exposure, empathy, and attitudes towards violence. Regression analyses indicated that only exposure to video game violence was associated with (lower) empathy. Both video game and movie violence exposure were associated with stronger proviolence attitudes. The active nature of playing video games, intense engagement, and the tendency to be translated into fantasy play may explain negative impact, though causality was not investigated in the present design. The samples' relatively low exposure to real-life violence may have limited the identification of relationships. Although difficult to quantify, desensitization to violence should be further studied using related characteristics as in the present study. Individual differences and causal relationships should also be examined.
Descriptors: Violence, Video Games, Television, Films, Internet, Grade 4, Grade 5, Student Attitudes, Empathy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4; Grade 5
Authoring Institution: N/A