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<You might try looking up "social facilitation".>
There's a difference between observing people directly and observing
them through media, which the psychology discipline rountinely forgets or
ignores, so the notion of people seeing acts as more legitimate because
others are seen to perform them is problematised. You only have to look at
the complex range of suggested effects of violence in the theoretical
literature, as witnessed in media, from catharsis to desensitisation, to
disinhibition (not unlike the social facilitation idea).
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