ERIC Number: ED054852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Symbolic Modeling on Children's Interpersonal Aggression.
Liebert, Robert M.; Baron, Robert A.
Does exposure to symbolically modeled aggression (aggression in cartoons, movies, stories and simulated television programs) increase children's willingness to engage in behavior which might actually harm another human being? This paper presents a summary of three recent experiments offering affirmative answers to the question. A fourth experiment provides evidence that at least under some circumstances, children's interpersonal aggression may be increased by witnessing symbolic aggressive models. Subjects were 136 boys and girls randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group. Individual children in each group watched a videotape of either a violent or a highly active sports sequence. Subjects were next escorted to an adjacent room and seated at a response box apparatus. By pressing either of two buttons, children communicated their intent to help or hurt another child. As in many earlier studies, subjects regularly exposed to symbolic aggressive models tended to respond more aggressively than control group subjects tested under identical circumstances. Further, this pattern of results emerged despite the brevity of the aggressive sequences and, in three of four experiments, such effects were found even in the absence of a strong prior instigation to aggression. (WY)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Fels Research Inst., Yellow Springs, OH.
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April, 1971