ERIC Number: ED157855
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Physiological Studies of Violence-Related Attitudes.
Watts, Meredith W.
This paper reviews previous research and describes a study about the use of psychophysiological indicators (skin conductance response--SCR and heart rate--HR) to measure people's reactions to violence. The review of research describes attempts to gauge the association between people's attitudes, personality, and physiological responses when they viewed violent situations on videotape. These studies generally confirmed a relationship between a person's lack of empathy toward others and low arousal when viewing stimuli. In the author's study, she continued to analyze the relationship of people's individual personality differences, attitudes, and gender to their physiological responses when viewing television and movies with varying degrees of violence. Before viewing the films, subjects' attitudes were measured toward weapon-oriented violence, empathy, and aggressive behavior in the milieu of children. Results of film viewing showed that males with high ego strength had increased SCR and HR responses when negative social behavior was modeled. High acceptance of aggressive social behavior and use of weapons seemed to be associated with lower SCR response and with HR deceleration for males, especially when very violent stimuli were given. For females the pattern was mixed and unreliable. Although additional research is needed, the author believes that people's different personalities and attitudes make them respond in different ways to social behavior and communications. (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Aggression, Antisocial Behavior, Behavior, Heart Rate, Individual Differences, Personality, Physiology, Psychophysiology, Relationship, Research Methodology, Responses, Sex Differences, Social Attitudes, Social Science Research, Stress Variables, Tactual Perception, Television Viewing, Violence
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (New York, New York, August 31-September 3, 1978)