RE: media violence report in Science

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Apr 15 2002 - 13:20:37 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:20:37 +0100
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            Red rag to a bull, Ray...

            <"the data point
    > overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and
    > aggressive behavior in some children". In a report on page 2468 of this
    > issue, Johnson and colleagues present important evidence showing that
    > extensive TV viewing among adolescents and young adults is associated
    > with subsequent aggressive acts.>
            Flawed research methodologies repeated time and time again are still
    flawed. The basic premises are flawed as I've argued time and again on this
    list (read the work by David Gauntlett as to what those flaws are as I won't
    go over them again. Besides even the data people like these use are not
    consistent which should beg problems for such people (but they ignore such
    "minor' problems).

            <Despite the consensus among the experts, lay people do not seem
    > to be getting the message from the popular press that media violence
    > contributes to a more violent society.>
            This is a blatant lie. Surveys, not to mention the news media,
    routinely indicate that the default perception of media violence is indeed
    that it causes violence in society. Also there is no consensus amongst the
    'experts', as what hasn't successfully got out into the public domain, is
    the counter argument despite the efforts of committed researchers who offer
    very cogent reasons why media violence arguments are specious at best.

            <We recently demonstrated that
    > even as the scientific evidence linking media violence to aggression has
    > accumulated, news reports about the effects of media violence have
    > shifted to weaker statements, implying that there is little evidence for
    > such effects. This inaccurate reporting in the popular press may account
    > for continuing controversy long aster the debate should have been over,
    > much as the cigarette smoking/cancer controversy persisted long after the
    > scientific community know that smoking causes cancer.>
            I find this claim extraordinary. Vilification of media violence is
    continual and persistent in news media in many parts of the world, including
    the US. Claiming that the debate should have been long over is true, but
    the conclusion reached should have been the opposite one to these authors'
    views. If there was a simple relationship between violence and the media,
    there would be straightforward evidence of a relationship between the extent
    of media access and levels of violence globally. There isn't. _At all_.
    Indeed the only country where there occurs both high rates of violence in
    society, and violence in the media is the USA. And even here, whilst levels
    of media violence are supposedly still high (or even increasing if you
    believe the doomsayers), some of the traditionally most violent places in
    the US, like New York City, for example, are experiencing 20 year lows for
    violent crime.

            Memetics and media effect research are clearly related, in terms of
    a mean through which memes may be disseminated, but not in such a simplistic
    way as people like this view effects.


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