Introduction to Library and Information Science/Annotation of Huesmann, L. Rowell. "Psychological Processes Promoting the Relation Between Exposure to Media Violence and Aggressive Behavior by the Viewer"

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Huesmann, L. Rowell, 1986. Psychological Processes Promoting the Relation Between Exposure to Media Violence and Aggressive Behavior by the Viewer. Journal of Social Issues. 42: 238-243.

The relationship between exposure to media violence and aggressive behavior by the viewer has been a major debate for almost 20 years. It is more likely for a child to be aggressive if he or she is reinforced for his or her aggression or if he or she is the object of aggression. In many cases, exposure to media violence increases the chance that a child will respond to frustration with aggression. The following variables may also play a part in the child’s aggression:

  • Intellectual achievement
  • Social popularity
  • Identification with television characters
  • Belief in the realism of television
  • Fantasizing about aggression

Parents should intervene when children are watching something too violent on the television because they provide critical input. Also, it is essential for parents to monitor children during the pre-adolescent years because that is when the media violence begins to stimulate the aggressive behavior.

Many individuals may agree with Huesmann’s statements, but it is important to remember that there are several other factors that can lead to aggression also. Parents should be aware of their child’s actions, and monitor the aggression. They should model proper behavior too. There is no concrete evidence that media violence is the main variable for an individual’s negative behavior, so why aren’t other variables analyzed and discussed regularly too?