RE: media violence report in Science

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 20:08:27 BST

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    Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 20:08:27 +0100
    Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
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    Hi Vincent

    > Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:59:55 +0100
    > From: Vincent Campbell <>
    > Subject: RE: media violence report in Science
    > 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).

    No I don't either. Also society before the advent of the late C19th, society
    was a very different place compared with now.
    > <Remember that in films, shoot 'em up games etc the victims and
    > protagonists
    >> 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
    > amazingly
    >> 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.
    > Vincent
    Ok so not the best choices I could have made. :-)

    I think that there is some influence by the media, but that it is subtle
    (and I don't necessarily mean deliberate!) and that it is just a part of the
    influences on us, rather than a simple, "kid watches film and then goes off
    a copies it" even if the kid later claims it as some have tried to do.



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