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Exposure To Media Violence Essay

1465 words - 6 pages

The relationship between the viewing of violence in such forms as video games and television shows has been widely contested and thoroughly researched. Various conclusions can be drawn from multiply sources, though as of yet there has been no one final conclusion as to the nature of the relationship. Some research has studied how media violence can affect other aspects of behaviour, such as memory (Bushman 1988), or the long-term effects that it can have from early childhood, to adolescence (Huesmann, Eron, Klein, Brice & Fischer (1983). If it was proved that exposure to media violence increased the likelihood of aggressive behaviour, it may force a re-evaluation of what young children are exposed to during early childhood.

Research done on the topic of media violence is widespread and variable, with many different approaches and theories. One example of such research focuses on the different effect violent video games have on aggressive behaviours in a controlled laboratory environment to those who are exposed to violence in video games in real life and the effect this has on aggressive traits, such as Ferguson et al. (2008). This experimental design focused on the direct link between viewing violent material in an animated game and then the aggressiveness of the response when told to deliver a loud noise to an opponent that has answered a question in a staged test incorrectly. The chosen participants were volunteers studying at an undergraduate level at university, this sample was 45.5% male and may not be representative of the population as the participants chose to participate and were not selected at random, thus possibly limiting the application of the findings.

To prove the hypothesis that; “Exposure to video game violence in a controlled environment results in increased aggression on a subsequent laboratory measure of aggression” (Ferguson et al. 2008, p.316) a survey was undertaken by the participants after completing a TCRTT test and 45 minutes of game play of either a violent or non-violent video game. The result of the TCRTT was a measure of how aggressive or loud, the participant chose to administer the blast to the opponent. It was found that whilst overall males were more aggressive than females, there was no difference in the control (nonviolent video game) and the violent video game, despite the high frustration levels recorded in the post game test for both gameplay. These findings do not support the theory that exposure to violence in media results in more aggressive behavior, which contrasts against the findings of other research, such as Chrisakis & Zimmerman (2007) and Bushman (1998).

Chrisakis and Zimmerman (2007) hypothesised that, “exposure to violent television viewing when children are 2 to 5 years of age would be associated with antisocial behavior at ages 7 to 10” (Chrisakis and Zimmerman 2007, p. 993) and used a random sample of children from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) database for whom there...

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