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Lecture 14

Objective 4.3 Discuss the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to violence.

Bellwork Question
Do you feel that music, television, movies, etc. can play a role in ones aggressiveness? Why or why not?

What are you being asked to do?

Talk in general about the effects of exposure to

Introduce the assumption that short term effects and

long term effects exist within violence exposure

Discuss both effects with the use of reference to

relevant research.
Provide critical analysis in your discussion to show

an understanding of each effect by evaluating research, and providing explicit examples of each effect.

Violence exposure
While violence is not new to the

human race, it is an increasing problem in modern society. With greater access to firearms and explosives, the scope and efficiency of violent behavior has had serious consequences.
We need only look at the recent

school shootings and the escalating rate of youth homicides among urban adolescents to appreciate the extent of this ominous trend.
One can simply type in violence on

their YouTube browser and immediately become exposed to violence!

Violence seems to be culturally in high

demand as movies, video games, music videos, and even cartoons are becoming increasingly violent.
This acceptable tolerance for violence seems

to have its effects on our society The extent to which violent exposure effects our youth have been debated in psychology for over 50 years dating back to Banduras research (this can be briefly mentioned in your introduction to show a general knowledge of the history of aggression research).

Banduras short term model

Bandura as well as other social

psychologists in the 1960s-1970s painted a vivid picture of temporary exposure to violence leading to temporary aggression.
The research does suggest that the

Aggressive model would have an effect on the childrenBut was it a situational change or a dispositional change?

Banduras short term model

One can hypothesize that constant exposure to situational

factors can lead to a change in dispositional factors (i.e. seeing someone for a long period of time can change the way you feel about the person).
Psychologists have argued this same theory with exposure

to violenceIn this lecture, we will explore the effects of SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM exposure to violence.
To limit the scope of the lecture, we will limit our lecture

to the effects of short term and long term exposure to media violence.

Exposure to media violence

While the causes of youth violence are multifactorial and

include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children's exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior.
While it is difficult to determine which children who have

experienced televised violence are at greatest risk, there appears to be a strong correlation between media violence and aggressive behavior with low resilience to violence exposure.

DQ #1
What do we mean by resilience to violence exposure?

Resilience in psychology refers to the idea of an

individual's tendency to cope with exposure to negative situations.

In this context, resiliency is the ability to resist

aggressive behavior in spite of being exposed to violent media. Many children and at risk teenagers do not have high resiliency thus are more prone to the impact of violent media.

How does media violence result in aggressive behavior?

Some researchers have

suggested that very young children will imitate aggressive acts on TV in their play with peers.
Before age 4, children are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy (and have little resilience to violence exposure) and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence (as was the case with Banduras

Video on violent media and aggression


Research on short term exposure to violence

After half a century of research, the empirical evidence

regarding the negative effects of violent television, movies and video games is overwhelming.
Research as consistently found that dispositional

aggression, as well as self-reported, peer-reported and teacher-reported aggressive behavior correlates with exposure to violent television shows and video games.

Research on short term exposure to violence

After half a century of research, the empirical evidence

regarding the negative effects of violent television, movies and video games is overwhelming.
Research as consistently found that dispositional

aggression, as well as self-reported, peer-reported and teacher-reported aggressive behavior correlates with exposure to violent television shows and video games.

This research (although in its infantile stage) suggests that

violent media short term exposure can correlate to lower activity in the frontal cortex (which is responsible for our rational thought process). This would mean that you are possibly more likely to make a irrational decision while you are listening to or watching aggressive media. More research needs to be done in order to further support this assumption.
This research also suggests that continued exposure to

violence can lead to extended inactivity in the frontal cortex. As we know from Genie, inactivity can lead to physical damage in this part of the brain. This would suggest a more permanent disposition for irrational thoughts and aggression.

Further research on short term and long term exposure to violence

The most vivid picture of short term

exposure to violence and its effects are highlighted in W. James Potters 2002 book entitled 11 myths of Media Violence in which he outlined effects of Short Term and Long Term exposure to media violence.
Listen to his interview in this

regard: ce-in-the-media/

Research on short term and long term exposure to violence

One of the most intriguing myths in

Dr. Potters book is that Media Violence does not affect violent behavior.
He attempts to disprove this

assumption through a meta-analysis of numerous cross-cultural studies that suggest the large effect of short term and long term exposure.

Short term exposure to violence

In his book, The 11 Myths of Media, Potter shares what he believes to be the several short term effects and long term effects of media:
Imitation and Copying Behavior: Children and

adults mimic and incorporate a behavior they have seen a character in media perform.
Triggering Novel Behavior: Media that stimulates a

person to act in a manner that is not copied from a specific media portrayal the have seen.
The viewer uses the stimulation they feel by

watching the negative media to act aggressively in a novel way to fit the situation at hand.

DQ #2
Can you think of any real world examples where you felt aggressive or angry after watching a movie?

Short term exposure to violence

Fight or Flight: Exposure to violent media can

temporarily arouse one physiologically whereby a persons heart rate and blood pressure increase.
The same physical changes that occur in a persons body

during a real life threat are the same ones that occur when there are watching violent or fearful images.

Short term exposure to violence

Scholars have conducted hundreds of studies concerning

the impact of media violence on childrens aggressive behavior. Although there is no evidence supporting the idea that media violence increases violent crime, short term exposure to violent media appears to have both shortand long-term effects on childrens aggressive behavior.
For example: In one study investigating the short-term

effects of media violence, elementary school children exposed to one episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers demonstrated significantly more (seven times) intentional acts of aggression, such as hitting, kicking, and shoving than did a group that did not watch the program (Wilson, 1998).

Short term exposure to violence WrfjuYFj0

Long term exposure to violence

Generalizing to Novel Behaviors: Media can influence

behaviorsnot just specific actions, but a general, long term manner. Viewers can generalize a particular behavior to a broader class of behaviors.
Physiological Habituation: This is the building up or

increasing of physiological tolerance over the long term. With repeated fight-flight responses, the human body gradually builds up a resistance to the exposure to media images. This can lead to insensitivity to violent situations.

Long term exposure to violence

Narcotizing: Habitual viewing of violent media over time

can increase ones need for violent media. Viewers can become addicted and crave that strong arousal jag they get from violent exposures. Violence acts as a drug in the sense that people become more dependent over time.

Long term exposure to violence

Learning Social Norms: When viewers are repeatedly

exposed to violence in media, a person overestimates the extent to which certain behaviors are socially acceptable.
Sheer repetition of violent portrayals is enough to lead

people to generalize that violence is typical way of dealing with problems in society.

Long term exposure to violence

A longitudinal study examining the long-term effects of exposure to violence found that heavy exposure to television violence predicted increased physical aggression in adulthood, even after researchers controlled for the childs initial level of aggressiveness, the childs IQ, the parents education, the parents TV habits, the parents aggression, and the socioeconomic status of the family.

Long term exposure to violence

Similarly, childrens exposure to television violence may also impact their moral development. In one survey study, Wilson (1999) found that children aged six to twelve, who were heavy viewers of fantasy violence programs such as Power Rangers, were more likely than children who seldom watched such programming to judge hypothetical examples of aggression as morally correct if these examples were for reasons of protection.

DQ #3
What problems arise with becoming desensitized to violence?

According to Potter:
The implications of desensitization are important as it is

possible that reduced inhibitions toward violence might result in increased aggressive which can have a number of negative consequences for both the individual and the society.
Furthermore, the ndings suggest that desensitization might

also result in decreased likelihood of being concerned for the victims of violence, and therefore in decreased likelihood of helping a victim of violence.
In other words, we are inclined to be bystanders by

being consistently exposed to violence.

The results are consistent with the theory that short-term

effects are mostly due to the priming of existing wellencoded scripts, schemas, or beliefs, which adults have had more time to encode.
In contrast, long-term effects involve the learning

(encoding) of scripts, schemas, or beliefs.

Whereas short term exposure primes what is already

there, long term creates what will be primed later.

Critical thinking discussion ideas

Could there be individual differences in the effect of short

term exposure?
Is it possible to truly measure short term exposure

empirically without taking into account previous experiences?

Can gender play a role in short/long term exposure

effects? Why would males be more susceptible to violent behavior (consider genetic predispositions).
Can culture play a role in resilience to violence exposure?


The End