ERIC Number: ED025950
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Motion Pictures and Real-Life Violence; What the Research Says.
There is evidence that violence in motion pictures viewed by children on screen or television can contribute to violence in real life, although the movies can rarely be blamed as the sole cause of anti-social conduct. Clinical reports cite instances of the effect on "susceptible" youngsters; e.g., emotionally disturbed individuals. Long-term effects of the audiovisual media on the "normal" child are harder to substantiate. Laboratory experiments show that children learn a great deal from movies, and that there is a strong tendency for them to imitate violence even when they feel it is wrong. The doubtful "catharsis hypothesis" explores the idea that exposure to film violence might reduce the level of aggression in a viewer. The implication of accumulated studies is that the more realistic the violence in a film, and the greater the degree of identification between the child and a violent character, the more likely the aggressive learning will be carried over into real-life behavior. This effect might be combated in a number of ways: reduce violence and the number of violent heroes in our movies, demonstrate by them that crime does not pay, and encourage the young viewer to apply "adult discount" to the fantastic situation. (TI)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Motion Picture Association of America, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Communication Research.