Witnessing Aggression: Media and Firsthand
This chapter discusses the role of media in influencing aggression. As examples, do the all consuming interests of the couch potato lead to conflict in marital and romantic relationships? The question of whether violence on television increases the aggression of viewers is explored along with the equally important question of whether there are effects that extend into the community well beyond the viewing situation, for example, suicides and homicides. A following section considers the content and effects of professional wrestling on young children and teens in dating relationships. The cognitive phenomenon of “priming” whereby violent rhetoric sets the stage for later aggression is examined. The results of studies designed to assess the effects of people personally viewing aggression from the stands are summarized. Also considered are the effects on viewers of displays of interpersonal aggression containing erotic themes.
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