RE: media violence

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Tue Apr 16 2002 - 22:17:14 BST

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    Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 22:17:14 +0100
    Subject: RE: media violence
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    > Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 09:00:46 +0100
    > From: Vincent Campbell <>
    > Subject: RE: media violence
    > Hi Steve,
    > <Now, how many on this list dispute that ideas and advertising have
    > an
    >> effect on people?>
    > You have to distinguish between kinds of effects- emotional,
    > psychological, attitudinal, behavioural. I would certainly dispute the
    > behavioural impact of advertising on people. It's more complicated than
    > monkey see, monkey do.
    > <How many parents in the West dread the the annual Xmas advertising
    > for kids
    >> toys etc. Never watched a film that doesn't make you laugh or cry? The
    >> saddest film I ever saw was Highlander.
    >> So we can laugh at the tv, be sad, be disgusted (A porno film on while
    >> your
    >> kids are able to watch?), be happy, be transported to a fantasy dream
    >> world?
    >> All of these can affect your emotional state except violence on tv?>
    > But the claim is that exposure to media violence makes you behave
    > violently. I don't dispute the emotional impact of the media- we can all
    > laugh, cry and indeed get angry at things we see in the media- the question
    > is about behavioural influence, and the evidence for that is a lot weaker
    > than many claim.
    > <May not be science but as far as I am concerned the boot is on the
    > other
    >> foot, unless of course we move to a system of drugs testing that assumes
    >> the
    >> drugs are safe until proven different. Any one want to volunteer on that
    >> basis?>
    > Well of course for many drugs we do exactly that- when people do bad
    > things under the influence of alcohol (aren't most murder committed with
    > alcohol involved?) we persistently blame the individual not the legal drug.
    > If it's crack or some other illegal drug, then the drug is blamed. Besides,
    > drugs have demonstrable detrimental physiological effects on people, apart
    > from eye-strain I'm not sure there's similar evidence of physiological
    > effects of watching TV.
    > <Advertising does influence people, including me. If advertising
    > influences
    >> others the same way as me then so too should tv in general, and I consider
    >> that I have built up an immunity to it to some extent.>
    > It depends on what you mean by influence. I do think media
    > literacy, the ability to recognise efforts at persuasion whether from
    > advertisers, politicians or whoever, is key to undermining the simple
    > effects model.
    > <My thoughts on this are that tv and visual media do have some
    > influence or
    >> would people on the list explain why fans of star trek have constructed a
    >> klingon language if the program had no influence. It is no good saying
    >> they
    >> are ill btw, as that is still influence.>
    > Good example to show the complexity of the problem, as it's possible
    > to view things like this as fans appropriating and using media content
    > actively, able to take what they want from media texts to serve their
    > purposes. This is not the same as the 'monkey see, monkey do' model of the
    > pro-violence effects model.
    > <I think the effects of the media are real, but the level of
    > influence could
    >> be too difficult to measure at the moment, particularly as the effects are
    >> going to differ from person to person according to there life history.>
    > Exactly- a bigger behavioural determinant is not what TV show
    > someone watched that day, but who that individual is, what things have they
    > experienced in their life etc. etc. This not only affects our behaviour,
    > but also our interaction with media content, so it's quite a complex
    > process.
    > Vincent

    It is difficult to decide that which is the bigger behavioural determinant
    as the subject is difficult to investigate in the first place. I don't
    really claim the monkey see monkey do approach, but I don't go for the no
    effect camp either.

    The Star Trek example was a case of something forming such an impression on
    some people, they took the idea and expanded it. If it can happen with
    something harmless it can happen with something nasty. Don't you agree?

    The claim that a people go out and murder etc after watching videos etc for
    long periods is difficult to sustain and prove. I concede that quite
    readily. To deny that what our senses take in doesn't affect us to greater
    or lesser degrees, and then subdivide into "induce laughter is true, induce
    violence false is hogwash".

    Violence in the media is part of the whole thing not the simple cause.

    I thought the idea was that if we view an action it has some effect on us,
    even if for many that is indifference.



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