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July 1996, Week 5


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Rick Schott <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 11:24:42 -0500
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>There *is* research that shows that watching violence leads to violent
>behaviour.  See Bandura's experiments with bobo dolls, where the children
>who were shown violent material on t.v. then behaved violently toward the
>dolls, while the other children did not.  I believe following experiments
>supported these findings as well.  I realize this isn't precisely what you
>were talking about, but it is related enough to cause concern, yes?
I'm not going to pretend that I've read lots of research on this subject, but..
1)  It sounds like this experiment might only prove that watching violent
television leads one to engage in violent _play_.  This does not mean that
those same children would engage in real violent behaviour towards each
other.  In other word, watching images of violence might just expand their
ability to make-believe violence, not to really enact it. For adults, an
analogous example: a person might watch a porno in which depicts somewhat
violent sex.  That adult might engage in violent sexual fantasies, or even
make-believe violent SM, but not _actually_ have truly violent, harmful
(This is just speculation based on how you presented the finding of the
experiment -- perhaps the children _did_ become more violent towards each
2)  I have heard that Japan's television has more depictions of violence
than US televison, and yet the violent crime rate is much lower in Japan.
Is this an academic version of an "urban myth" or does someone have an
actual citation for this claim?  If so, how does this impact our current
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