Longitudinal Research Findings on the Effects of Violent Content

Longitudinal studies of media violence effects are conceived as a way to overcome the limited causality of correlational studies without resorting to the artificial design of laboratory experiments that are lower in external validity. These studies search for various types of effects in the target audience— from the most passive (rising fear levels and changes in victimization likelihood assessment) to the most active (physical aggression). Common to all longitudinal studies is the assumption that the effect of media violence is not something that can be witnessed immediately in response to a single exposure to specific media content. A cumulative pattern of behaviors and opinions that supposedly gradually develop throughout months or even years and can be predicted by and attributed to routine contact with violent ...

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