RE: media violence report in Science

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Mon Apr 15 2002 - 13:59:55 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:59:55 +0100
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            Sorry to butt in. Still playing catch-up.

            <Up until quite recently societies have been quite violent on a day
    to day
    > basis. In the late 19C and 20C the advent of law and order has generally
    > made living a lot safer, and people are not exposed to violence. With the
    > advent of the visual image you could be introducing children to a
    > predisposed propensity to violence that ocurs in the presence of certain
    > stimuli.>
            You could, but since one can't even predict whether exposure to
    real/actualy violence will lead individuals to commit violence, how could
    mediated violence do so? Besides the point about pre-media societies being
    violent, indeed more violent than contemporary society is an argument
    against media causing violence- indeed, it's an argument for the
    diametrically opposite view, the catharsis view that media violence sates
    human's desire for violence and thus stops us doing it. (I don't really buy
    that either, as it still suffers from a simple behavioural effects model,
    but there you go).

            <Remember that in films, shoot 'em up games etc the victims and
    > turn up again. Either the game gets replayed or the actors make another
    > film.>
            But studies of children show that kids, even quite young kids are
    able to recognise this (e.g. the work of David Buckingham).

            <Also, the military is quite good at conditioning people to do
    > dangerous things. If soldiers can be conditioned why are children immune?>
            Because soldiers (and kids in classrooms, say) have their
    environments physically manipulated by other human beings. A recruit can't
    turn the drill instructor off, but a kid (or adult) can turn the TV off, or
    walk away. Also teachers and drill instructors are persistently and
    deliberately trying to impart particular ideas and behaviour into their
    respective audiences, audience who are at least supposed to be motivated (by
    other social pressures, like family etc.) to pay attention and do what
    they're told. None of that is true for the media- advertising is
    increasingly a competition for attention the teacher should have the child's
    undivided attention. Conditioning via the TV, or other media source, just
    doesn't wash.


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