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Media Effects Perspectives of Violence

  • By: Allan Fenigstein
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

There can be no doubt that violence, in the form of realistic (as opposed to theatrical, comic, or cartoonish) portrayals of intentional physical harm to another, is readily available in the mass media. By the age of 18 years, a typical child will have been exposed to 40,000 acts of murder and more than 100,000 other acts of violence on television or in the movies. The existence of this media violence has generated a great deal of research, much of which has focused on questions of media effects—primarily whether watching violence in the media somehow leads to increased violence in society, perhaps by influencing the minds of viewers through modeling or habituation. The results of more than 100 laboratory experiments have effectively demonstrated that violent ...

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