ERIC Number: ED151073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Fantasy-Reality Distinction in Televised Violence: Modifying Influences on Children's Aggression.
Sawin, Douglas B.
This study involving 120 fifth grade and 120 kindergarten children (all middle class) was designed to assess the extent to which children's understanding of observed violence as fantasy (fictional), as opposed to real (documentary), influences their subsequent aggressive behavior. Children were exposed to a violent televised episode that was introduced as a fictional portrayal (fantasy condition) or as a news broadcast (reality condition). Additional groups were given no information (no instructional set condition) about the violent stimulus or were not exposed to the violent episode (no-T.V. condition). Aggressive responses and helping responses were recorded immediately following exposure. Boys were most aggressive in the reality and no-T.V. conditions. They were less aggressive in the no-instructional set condition and least aggressive in the fantasy condition. In almost direct contrast, girls were most aggressive in the fantasy and no-instructional set conditions and least aggressive in the reality and no-T.V. conditions. These effects held for both older and younger children. The findings are discussed in terms of differences in the socialization of boys and girls for real and fantasy aggression. (Author/JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Texas Univ., Austin. Research Inst.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (85th, San Francisco, California, August 26-30, 1977)