>Subject: Re: Escalation in film and culture
>>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 may need to brush up on my Bobo dolls, but I think the original
(early 1960s) experiments in the Bandura studies did NOT involve TV
violence per se. Children watched either LIVE human models or 8mm amateur
films of those models. Quite different than watching, say, THE
UNTOUCHABLES or GUNSMOKE or whatever TV series was feared to be too violent
Furthermore, the children were not simply shown adults performing
aggressive acts on Bobo dolls and then turned loose on their own dolls.
Rather some children saw the aggressors punished for their aggression,
another group saw the aggressors rewarded, and the control group saw the
aggressors receiving no consequences. Children who say aggressors punished
tended to be less violent in their own play with the same dolls.
While many studies since have shown more and better evidence of
correlation between children watching TV violence and behaving
aggressively, Bandura's studies seem to often be mischaracterized and
obviously have been challenged a great deal on several grounds.
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"They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pastureland.
The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a
lope. The lights fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie
where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of
the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled
and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth
which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and
bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them
and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that
dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed
against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing."
-- Cormac McCarthy, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES
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