Television and Aggression (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
For many years, behavioral and educational researchers have studied the psychological effects of television programs on viewers, particularly children. Substantial debate over television began as early as the 1960s. The term "TV violence" was coined in 1963 as critics accused programs of promoting antisocial violent and aggressive behavior. More contemporary discussions center on the use of rating systems to label the content of programs and the use of technology to allow parents to censor children's viewing habits.
Although there have been cases of "copy-cat" crimes, where an actual murder or suicide is said to have been triggered by a specific television incident, a direct correlation between what a person sees and does is difficult to prove. Since the 1950s, more than 3,000 studies have been dedicated to tracing more indirect links between actual violence and televised violence. Some researchers have employed a laboratory setting where children watched either violent cartoons or more passive children's programming, and then measured the children's aggressiveness. Much research has been done comparing communities without television (such as a town in a remote part of Canada) to similar communities with television. Researchers have also compared crime rates and indicators of violence and aggression in communities before and after television became available. Such studies concluded...
(The entire section is 663 words.)
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