ERIC Number: ED184524
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
The Effects of Action and Violence in Television Programs on the Social Behavior and Imaginative Play of Preschool Children.
Huston-Stein, Aletha; And Others
The independent contributions of action and violence in television programs to children's attention and social behavior were investigated. Pairs of preschool children were assigned to one of four television conditions (1) high action-high violence, (2) high action-low violence, (3) low action-low violence, or (4) no television. Action was defined as rapid movement by characters or objects; violence was physical aggression by characters. Visual attention was greater in high action than in low action programs; there were no differences in attention as a function of violence when action was controlled. Children were observed in free play sessions before and after viewing. Those who saw low action-low violence television or no television increased in imaginative, fantasy play; those who saw high action-high violence decreased in imaginative play; the high action-low violence group fell in between. There was some tendency for aggressive behavior to follow the opposite pattern--higher aggression following high action-high violence or high action-low violence than after low action-low violence or no television. There were no differences in activity level as a function of treatment. These results were interpreted as supporting arousal theory more strongly than observational learning theory. (Author/JEG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development (Dallas, TX, March 1978). For a related document, see IR 008 192.