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The Effects of Violent Movies on Viewers - Research Paper Example

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The aim of this paper is to discuss the effects of violence on viewers in three respects: age, level of education and technology. The author concludes that despite the warnings from institutions in regard to the dangers of violent movies, the media industry still sells both violence to its viewers…
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The Effects of Violent Movies on Viewers
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Download file to see previous pages The findings were inconclusive and even mutually exclusive. While a number of researchers claimed that media violence had a cathartic effect, others argued that exposure to virtual violence provoked aggressive behavior in real life. 
Although most of the studies focus on violent materials on TV, their results are applicable to violent movies. John Condry points out three logical possibilities in regard to the effects of viewing violent material in references to the major studies in that area as follows: “a) watching violence on television make us more violent (Huesman, 1982; Huesman & Malamuth, 1986); b) it could make us less violent (Feshbach, 1972) or c) it may have no effect whatsoever on our aggressive behavior (the null hypothesis) (Freedman, 1984; Kaplan and Singer, 1976; Milavsky, 1988)” (86). However, as Condry also noted, the vast evidence is in favor of the first hypothesis of a positive link between media violence and actual violence (Condry 86). The studies of Berkowitz and Green have also shown that exposure to violence does not have a cathartic effect, but instead, it leads to violence (Luke 145). These findings are specifically valid for children and young adolescents.
It is obvious from the studies that media violence generates actual violent behavior. However, there are three underlying psychological mechanisms which lead to that behavioral aggression. According to Condry, violent materials trigger three cognitive mechanisms: imitation, disinhibition, and arousal/desensitization (Condry 98). Bandura’s experimental study has shown that children imitate both film-model and live-model conditions since they learned by observation. In Bandura’s experiment, two groups of children watch two movies in which an adult punches a BoBo doll.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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