ERIC Number: ED446319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Media Violence and Children's Emotions: Beyond the "Smoking Gun."
This paper focuses on the reasons why media violence research is often misunderstood. First, it explains the methodological limitations of studying media violence and argues that these limitations are similar to those accepted in medical research. Second, it explores the role of emotional response that media violence can produce and possible techniques for redirecting its harmful consequences. Two areas of emotional research are explored: (1) media violence affects on desensitization and hostility; and (2) its contributions to children's fears and anxieties. The paper cites studies that indicate exposure to intense media violence increases hostile feeling in the short-term and can produce an enduring hostile mental framework that affects interpersonal relationships. It also cites research demonstrating the widespread contribution of media violence to children's nightmares and the usefulness of cognitive development research in predicting what will frighten children. In conclusion it argues that knowledge of the emotional impact of media violence can be useful in designing strategies for combating the problem. A newly published study suggests that encouraging children to focus on feelings of the victim of violence can counteract the typical aggression impact of a violent cartoon. (Contains 28 references.) (Author/JDM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association (108th, Washington, DC, August 4-8, 2000).