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Aggressive Behavior

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

More than 40 years ago, the possibility that television and film violence may have adverse effects on viewers was publicly presented. Repeated exposure to entertainment violence is believed to be a major contributor to aggressive and violent behavior in real life, because media violence can (a) instigate imitation, (b) make real-world violence more acceptable, (c) distort viewers’ perceptions of real-world crime and violence, (d) desensitize viewers to the suffering of victims of violence, and (e) increase the accessibility of violent constructs in memory. An increasing number of correlational, experimental, psychophysiological, and longitudinal studies on the effects of violent media have shown that both chronic and brief exposure to violence in films and video games lead to an increase of aggression. Thus, a causal link between ...

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