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ERIC Number: ED089385
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Children and Television Violence.
Meyer, Timothy P.
Department of Speech--Educational Services Report, v5 n2 p17-30 December 1973
The question of whether violence depicted on television causes viewers to act aggressively is meaningless because it implies a simple "yes" or "no" response. Effects of mass media depend on the types of viewers and content as well as the conditions of message reception. Television violence can affect the behavior of children on some occasions. Studies of media violence have revealed one or more of three general effects. First, children can learn violent acts through observation but will or will not tend to imitate them depending on whether the violent acts are perceived as rewarding or not. Second, media content can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior by the viewer if he is predisposed to aggression by feelings of anger toward another person. Finally, however, the viewing of violence can reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior if the content provides some form of catharsis for the angered viewer or if it does not provide positive reinforcement for aggressive action. The proportion of children affected by television violence has yet to be determined, but such program content seems to be doing far more harm than good. (RN)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Speech Association.; Massachusetts Univ., Amherst. Dept. of Communication Studies.