Crime Rate / Incarceration Rate


Scientists have concluded that exposure to violent TV does indeed lead to more aggressive thoughts, attitudes and actions.  Could this help explain the fact that the homicide rate nearly doubled from the mid 1960's to the late 1970's  (see graphs) Also by Age.  In reaction to this huge crime increase, the public supported policies that have led to a 500% increase in the incarceration rate (from 1970 to 2008).  This has brought the crime back down to the early 1960s levels, but the United States now has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world (pdf) - see also The New York Times (April 2008)


Note: the 1960's was the first time large number of people came of age after spending substantial portions of their childhood in front of the tube.


But, did TV cause the huge crime increase starting in the mid 1960's?  There is no way to prove this.  But TV proponents often argue that the reduction in crime to early 1960 levels by the year 2000, is proof that TV is not the culprit.  They fail to mention that the U.S.A. has had to increase the rate of incarceration by more than 500% to accomplish this reduction. See also US crime rate is down: six key reasons  and  Why America is safer now


                                                                        Incarceration Rate (1925 - 2008)

               


See also: http://www.justice.gov/archive/mps/strategic2000_2005/appd.htm

and http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/hmrt.cfm


Homicide rate per year per 100,000 inhabitants in the United States from 1900 to 2011 - Wikipedia


Note: scientists are arguing that TV increases aggression.  No one is arguing that violent TV is the only cause of violence, just one of many (such as childhood neglect, family income, neighborhood violence, parental education, and psychiatric disorders).


"Murder rates would be up to five times higher than they are but for medical developments over the past 40 years. According to new research, doctors are saving the lives of thousands of victims of attack who four decades ago would have died and become murder statistics." - NCBI (Sept 2002)  and  SAGE Journals (May 2002)


"The number of U.S. homicides has been falling for two decades, but America has become no less violent.

Crime experts who attribute the drop in killings to better policing or an aging population fail to square the image of a more tranquil nation with this statistic: The reported number of people treated for gunshot attacks from 2001 to 2011 has grown by nearly half. "Did everybody become a lousy shot all of a sudden? No," said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, a union that represents about 330,000 officers. "The potential for a victim to survive a wound is greater than it was 15 years ago." In other words, more people in the U.S. are getting shot, but doctors have gotten better at patching them up. Improved medical care doesn't account for the entire decline in homicides but experts say it is a major factor." - The Wall Street Journal (Dec 2012)










 But what about non-violent drug offenders? Isn't this enormous increase in the incarceration rate driven by the War on Drugs and the huge number of non-violent drug offenders languishing in jail?


As of 2005:  "Drug war prisoners make up only about one-fourth of an all-time high 2,268,000 people behind bars in the US, up 1.9% from 2003.”  -  Stop the Drug War (Oct 2005)


So, not including the non-violent drug offenders, the incarceration rate has still increased by about 375% since 1970 (it was in the 1970s that the incarceration rate started to increase – which happened after the huge jump in violent crime).


We could easily release these non-violent drug offenders (and thus reduce the incarceration rate by 25%) without increasing the violent crime rate. But would it be possible to release enough offenders to reduce the incarceration rate by 80% (to bring it back to the 1970s incarceration rate) without incrasing violent crime? I don't think so.


 




"Homicide rates in South Africa - Before & After TV" - The New Citizen (Fall 1992)


"Four years ago, Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan's first crime wave - murder, fraud, drug offences." - The Guardian (June 2003)







Overview


"That came in a report released Wednesday in response to president Obama's executive order -- following the Newtown, Conn., school shootings -- requesting that the CDC "immediately begin identifying the most pressing firearm-related violence research problems." The report reviewed existing research and pointed out where more research could be done, but concluded that even from what it said was "limited" evidence, "a significant relationship exists between violent media exposure and some measures of aggression and violent behavior."" - Broadcasting Cable (June 2013)  and  Multichannel (June 2013)


"Why Do People Deny Violent Media Effects?" - Psychology Today (Feb 2013)


"We Are a Country Drenched in Bloodshed: Some Hard Truths About Violence in the Media" - Alternet (Dec 2012)


"No single risk factor causes a child or adolescent to act aggressively. Instead, it is the accumulation of risk factors that leads to an aggressive act (Berkowitz, 1993; Eron,Huesmann, Lefkowitz, &Walder, 1974). Although

no individual risk factor may be necessary or sufficient to cause aggressive behavior on its own, each factor

increases the likelihood of aggression, especially in response to some provocation. This model is known as

the risk and resiliency model. After taking into consideration numerous characteristics of the child and the

environment, including risk and protective factors, research clearly shows that media violence consumption

increases the relative risk of aggression, defined as intentional harm to another person that could be verbal,

relational, or physical." - ISRA (2012)


"Viewing media violence increases aggressive behavior and decreases empathy." - Psychology Today (August 2010)


"Report Shows 'Unequivocal Evidence' That Media Violence Has Significant Negative Impact on Children" - ScienceDaily (March 2004)


"The research base is large; diverse in methods, samples, and media genres; and consistent in overall findings. The evidence is clearest within the most extensively researched domain, television and film violence. The growing body of video-game research yields essentially the same conclusions. Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions. Recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide converging evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life, including physical assaults and spouse abuse." - Sage Journals (Dec 2003)


"Mounting evidence links TV viewing to violence" - over 1000 studies over 30 years - The Christian Science Monitor (March 2002) 


"Scientific Facts Versus Media Manipulation - Media Violence and the American Public"  -  American Psychologist (July 2001) (pdf)


"By age 18 an American child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence... More than 1,000 studies on the effects of television and film violence have been done over the past 40 years. The majority of these studies reach the same conclusion: television and film violence leads to real-world violence." - Children, Violence and the Media - Senate Committee on the Judiciary (Sept 1999)


"Two studies show that prolonged exposure to gratuitous violence in the media can escalate subsequent hostile behaviors and, among some viewers, foster greater acceptance of violence as a means of conflict resolution." - ScienceDaily (April 1999)


"The Impact of Televised Violence" - Hofstra Law Review (Summer 1994)


"Television and ViolenceThe Scale of the Problem and Where to Go From Here" - Scribd.com (June 1992)  and  Cursor.org (June 1992)


Media Violence Resource Center





Scientific Consensus


"Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. Children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later. Young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence. While TV violence is not the only cause of aggressive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor." - Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (March 2011)


"Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed." - American Academy of Pediatrics (Nov 2009)


"Decades of psychological research confirms that media violence can increase aggression." - American Psychological Association (Feb 2004)


"Below is a document signed in July by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and five other prominent medical groups about the connection between media and violent or aggressive behavior in some children." - American Academy of Pediatrics (July 2000)






Definition of Aggression


"In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain."  -  Science Daily


"The report takes sharp aim at the notion that aggression is not bad. Most studies define "aggression" as behavior intended to harm another person. So when Tiger Woods attempts to drive the green on a short par-4, that wouldn't meet the psychological definition of aggression. Some critics of research on media and aggression suggest that research shows only "aggressive thoughts" or "aggressive beliefs," but in fact this report takes care to refer to "aggression" only when describing actual aggressive behavior." - Cognitive Daily - The influence of media violence on youth - Part 1


"No single risk factor causes a child or adolescent to act aggressively. Instead, it is the accumulation of risk factors that leads to an aggressive act (Berkowitz, 1993; Eron,Huesmann, Lefkowitz, &Walder, 1974). Although

no individual risk factor may be necessary or sufficient to cause aggressive behavior on its own, each factor

increases the likelihood of aggression, especially in response to some provocation. This model is known as

the risk and resiliency model. After taking into consideration numerous characteristics of the child and the

environment, including risk and protective factors, research clearly shows that media violence consumption

increases the relative risk of aggression, defined as intentional harm to another person that could be verbal,

relational, or physical." - ISRA (2012)






Reducing TV = Reducing Aggression


"The control group continues watching their usual cartoon fare, many of them violent, like “Road Runner” or “Scooby Doo.” Families in the intervention group are counseled to watch a cartoon fare described as pro-social and educational like “Dora the Explorer” and as neither violent nor pro-social, like “Curious George.” They agree to adhere to this media diet for six months, with a follow-up after a year."  -  Psychology Today (July 2013)  and  Pediatrics (March 2013)


"What your kids watch on TV can affect how well they sleep, a new study suggests. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study found that when parents intervened in their kids’ media diet -- reducing exposure to violent and age-inappropriate content and replacing it with age-appropriate, educational and empathy-building content such as "Curious George,""Sesame Street" and "Dora the Explorer" -- the children had fewer sleep problems, less aggression, and increased empathetic and friendly behaviors." -  Los Angeles Times (August 2012)  and  Pediatrics (August 2012) and  Psychology Today (June 2013)  and  Huffington Post (August 2012)  and  USA Today (August 2012)  and  Deseret News (August 2012)


"Effects of reducing children's television and video game use on aggressive behavior: a randomized controlled trial." - Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (Jan 2001)  and  Research Gate (Jan 2001)  and  Evidence-Based Mental Health (Jan 2001)


"Mich. kids urged to kick the TV habit" - Daddy Roses (Feb 2006)


Stanford Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (SMART) curriculum is being used in California and Michigan. SMART in San Francisco,  SMART in Canada






Examples from the Research


"Five year-olds who watch TV for three or more hours a day are increasingly likely to develop antisocial behaviours, such as fighting or stealing by the age of seven, indicates research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood."  -  Science Daily (March 2013)  and  The Atlantic (March 2013) 


"The study followed a group of around 1000 children born in Dunedin in 1972-73. Every two years between the ages of 5 and 15, they were asked how much television they watched. Those who watched more television were more likely to have a criminal conviction and were also more likely to have antisocial personality traits in adulthood."  -  University of Otago (Feb 2013)  and  Raw Story (Feb 2013)  and  Psychology Today (March 2013)  and  eScience News (Feb 2013)  and  ioL Lifestyle (Feb 2013)


"The Media Violence Commission's research-based report concludes that the research clearly shows that media violence consumption increases the relative risk of aggression, defined as intentional harm to another person that could be verbal, relational, or physical."  -  Science Daily (August 2012)


"Knowing students' risks for aggression can help schools determine which students may be more likely to get in fights or bully others, U.S. researchers say. The study, published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture, identified media violence exposure as one of six risk factors for predicting later aggression in 430 children ages 7-11, grades 3-5, from five Minnesota schools. " -  UPI.com (July 2012)  and  Medical Express (July 2012)  and  Iowa State University News (July 2012)


"The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE). Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others."  -  Science Daily (March 2011)


"Three-year-old children who are exposed to more TV appear to be at an increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals." - Science Daily (Nov 2009)  and  Natural News (Nov 2009)


"High levels of violence in cartoons such as Scooby-Doo can make children more aggressive, researchers claimed yesterday. They found that animated shows aimed at youngsters often have more brutality than programmes broadcast for general audiences. And they said children copied and identified with fantasy characters just as much as they would with screen actors."  -  Mail Online (March 2009)


"This article examines the play behavior of 70 preschool children and its relationship to television violence and regulatory status. Linear regression analysis showed that violent program content and poor self-regulation were independently and significantly associated with overall and physical aggression." - ECRP (2009)


"The research shows that even when other factors are considered, such as academic skills, encounters with community violence, or emotional problems, “childhood and adolescent violent media preferences contributed significantly to the prediction of violence and general aggression” in the study subjects." - ScienceDaily (Nov 2008)


"Watching media violence significantly increases the risk that a viewer or video game player will behave aggressively in both the short and long term, according to a University of Michigan study published today in a special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health." - ScienceDaily (Nov 2007)


"Violent TV May Lead to Antisocial Kids: Study Shows Watching TV Violence as a Preschooler May Lead to Later Antisocial Behavior" - WebMD (Nov 2007) - more on the same study - Suite 101 (Nov 2007)


"Television Viewing and Forms of Bullying among Adolescents from Eight Countries" - Journal of Adolescent Health 39 (2006) pdf and Journal of Adolescent Health 39 (2006)


"Summary: Offers a look at a study that reveals that television violence makes children more aggressive and these more aggressive kids turn to watching more television to justify their own behavior. Study according to Leonard Eron; Details of the study; Conclusion that what one learns about life from the television screen seems to be transmitted even to the next generation." - Psychology Today (2006)


"Four-year-old children who watch more television than average are more likely to become bullies, research suggests." - BBC (April 2005)  and  Live Science (April 2005)


"Watching violence on television, says Eron, leads to heightened aggressiveness, which in turn leads to more violence-viewing on TV. "Children who behave aggressively are less popular--and, perhaps because their relations with their peers tend to be unsatisfying, less popular children watch more television and therefore view more violence." From TV, they learn new techniques of agression, which makes them even less popular with their peers, which in turn drives them back to TV." - Psychology Today (2005)


"Looking Through Time: A Longitudinal Study of Children's Media Violence Consumption at Home and Aggressive Behaviors at School "  -  Society for Research in Child Developement (April 2003) 


"Childhood Exposure To Media Violence Predicts Young Adult Aggressive Behavior, According To A New 15-Year Study" - American Psychological Association (March 2003)


"Childhood Viewing of TV Violence Affects Women as Well as Men" - Newswise (March 2003)   More on the same study - University of Michigan (2003)


"Researchers tracked about 700 boys and girls for 17 years. Even accounting for factors such as family income, childhood neglect or psychiatric disorders, the link between watching violent television and behaving aggressively as an adult remains, the study said. " - CNN (March 2002)  and  Scientific American (March 2002)


"Watching Wrestling Positively Associated with Date Fighting" - ScienceDaily (May 2001)


"THE UNESCO GLOBAL STUDY ON MEDIA VIOLENCE"  -  Unesco (August 1999)  and  PPU (August 1999)


"Exposure to the gratuitously violent film also produced this effect without provocation by the experimenter. The study showed that prolonged exposure to gratuitously violent films is can escalate hostile behavior in both men and women and instigate such behavior in unprovoked research participants. They determined that the effect is not short lived, but remains for some time after the viewing of the films."  -  Science from Virginia Tech (1999)  and  ScienceDaily (April 1999)


"Television shows like "The Bionic Woman" and "Charlie's Angels" may have faded into rerun history, but the heroines' aggressive behavior lingers in the psyches of many of the young women who watched such shows avidly 15 or 20 years ago." - The University Record (Feb 1996)


"In 1973, a small Canadian town (called "Notel" by the investigators) acquired television for the first time. The acquisition of television at such a late date was due to problems with signal reception rather than any hostility toward television. Joy et al20 investigated the impact of television on this virgin community, using as control groups two similar communities that already had television. In a double-blind research design, a cohort of 45 first- and second-grade students were observed prospectively over a period of 2 years for rates of objectively measured noxious physical aggression (e.g., hitting, shoving, and biting). Rates of physical aggression did not change significantly among children in the two control communities. Two years after the introduction of television, rates of physical aggression among children in Notel had increased by 160% (P<.001)." - Scribd.com (June 1992)  and  Cursor.org (June 1992)


"Media's New Mood: Sexual Violence" - Center for Media Literacy






Violence on TV


"Results found that violence in films has more than doubled since 1950, and gun violence in PG-13–rated films has more than tripled since 1985. When the PG-13 rating was introduced, these films contained about as much gun violence as G (general audiences) and PG (parental guidance suggested for young children) films. Since 2009, PG-13–rated films have contained as much or more violence as R-rated films (age 17+) films."  -  Pediatrics (Nov 2013)  and  Psychology Today (Nov 2013)  and  Raw Story (Nov 2013)


"Violent acts in James Bond films were more than twice as common in Quantum of Solace (2008) than in the original 1962 movie Dr No, researchers from New Zealand's University of Otago have found. The researchers analysed 22 official franchise films, which span 46 years, to test the hypothesis that popular movies are becoming more violent (The latest Bond film, Skyfall, was not included as it was unreleased at the time of the study). They found that rates of violence increased significantly over the period studied and there was an even bigger increase in portrayals of severe violence: acts that would be likely to cause death or injury if they occurred in real life." - Science Daily (Dec 2012)


"In 2006, the Annenberg Public Policy Center  reviewed the top grossing movies since the rating system began.  In fact, they reviewed movies all the way back to 1950. They found that explicit sex and violence had both increased over time, but that “ratings creep” affected only violence. Explicit sex is still reserved for “R” rated films; explicit violence is not."  -  Alternet (Dec 2012) 


"Children ages 2-11 view an alarming amount of television shows that contain forms of social bullying or social aggression. Physical aggression in television for children is greatly documented, but this is the first in-depth analysis on children's exposure to behaviors like cruel gossiping and manipulation of friendship."  -  Phys Org (Sept 2012) 


"The Parents Television Council, an advocacy group, reported on Wednesday that the portrayal of violence against women and teenage girls on prime-time broadcast television shows had increased at a faster rate than overall violence on television." - The New York Times (Oct 2009)


"Of 125 movies, 67 (54%) met the inclusion criteria for the study with 5 G-rated movies (7%) and 62 PG-rated (93%). Eighteen movies (27%) depicted characters with firearms (Table)."  -  JAMA (June 2009)


"They found higher levels of physical aggression in designated children's programs (rated TV-Y and TV-Y7) than among programs for general audiences (rated TV-G, TV-PG, etc.)." - Science Daily (March 2009)


"In a paper published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics, Dartmouth researchers document the alarming numbers of young adolescents age 10-14 who are exposed to graphic violence in movies rated R for violence." - Science Daily (Aug 2008)


"There's something wrong with Dexter the serial killer" - The Guardian (July 2007)


"Americans are being subjected to more sex, violence and profane language during the traditional, early evening “family hour” of broadcast television viewing, a watchdog group said on Wednesday." - Reuters (Sept 2007)


"Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" - Parents Television Council (March 2006)


"Ever since the regulation of children's television in the 1980s, marketing violence to children through the media has become increasingly prevalent. The violent programs themselves, as well as the toys, video games, and other products linked to them, glorify violence, undermine play, and portray racial stereotypes. While these practices harm all young children, they present a special risk for children of color because of how racial messages are linked to violence in the shows. This situation is especially worrisome for young children of color who are disproportionately represented among low-income children, consume more hours of media per day, and have many other risk factors undermining their healthy development." - High Beam (Fall 2003)


Violence on Prime Time Broadcast Television 1998-2006 - Parents Television Council (2006)


"This study documents widespread exposure of young adolescents to movies with brutal, and often sexualized, violence. Given that many of these films were marketed to teens, better oversight of the marketing practices of the film industry may be warranted."  -  PubMed (Dec 2002)  and  Dartmouth (Dec 2002)


"An average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18 " - University of Michigan


"Three-year Study Documents Nature of Television Violence" - American Academy of Pediatrics (August 1998)


TV Violence And Children - Turn Off Your TV (2004)






Graph of Violence on TV



Children, Adolescents, and the Media - Pediatrics (January 1999)









Social Aggression on TV


"Children ages 2-11 view an alarming amount of television shows that contain forms of social bullying or social aggression. Physical aggression in television for children is greatly documented, but this is the first in-depth analysis on children's exposure to behaviors like cruel gossiping and manipulation of friendship."  -  Phys Org (Sept 2012) 


"What are the talent competition shows but an opportunity to visually pan in on the crushed face of the latest competitor to be publically rejected? Most “reality” shows are exercises in watching women beat up on each other, mostly verbally but sometimes physically too. Even supposed news programs have moved towards pitting screamers against each other in hopes that one will shame the other or if it’s an extra great night, the host will shame them both."  -  Psychology Today (Sept 2012)


"All the gossip, insults and dirty looks add up fast on popular reality shows, far outpacing the level seen in equally popular dramas, comedies and soap operas according to a new Brigham Young University study. The researchers looked at five reality shows and five non-reality shows and found 52 acts of aggression per hour on reality TV compared to 33 per hour for the non-reality programs."  -  eScience News (May 2010)  and  PsyOrg (May 2010)


"Past research has shown that viewing physical violence on TV activates aggressive scripts in the brain, but our findings suggest that watching both onscreen physical or relational aggression activates those cognitive scripts," Linder said. "Viewers don't simply choose to imitate TV characters or make a conscious decision to engage in aggressive behavior. Aggressive reactions are more automatic and less conscious than most people assume."  -  Medical Express (March 2012)


"Indirect Aggression on Sceen... They successfully spread rumours, damage relationships, distort reality, and destroy the reputations..." -  The Psychologist (Dec 2004) - pdf


"Exclusion, humiliation, gossiping, name-calling, and cutthroat alliances - we can't get enough! We panic when these behaviors are directed at our own children and we express outrage when the consequences turn deadly, but over the past few years we, the adults, have turned cruelty into entertainment and sport." - Psychology Today Blog (Oct 2010)






How Violent TV Effects the Brain


"As expected, the results showed that all of the aggressive children had reduced activity in their frontal cortex while completing the task, regardless of their levels of media violence exposure. But researchers found that nonaggressive children who had high levels of media violence exposure also displayed a similar pattern of low activity in the frontal cortex. Children in this group who weren't exposed to high levels of media violence had more frontal cortex activity." - WebMD (June 2005)  and  ScienceDaily (June 2005)


TV Violence and Brainmapping in Children - Psychiatric Times (Oct 2001)  and  cmch (Oct 2001)  and eHow.com (Feb 2012)


Introduction to the Frontal Lobe - Wikipedia


"Watching graphically violent or emotional scenes in a movie may induce enough stress to interfere with your problem solving ability, says a study."  - Bio-Medicine (Nov 2005)


The Neuroscience of Porn - The Frontal Cortex (Sept 2006)


"This is your brain... on violent video games" - Cognitive Daily (April 2006)


"Neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni discusses mirror neurons, autism and the potentially damaging effects of violent movies."  - Scientific American (July 2008)






TV Violence & Natural Experiments


"After five years of broadcasting, Bhutan's government is considering legislation to regulate what the country's people can watch. What effect has five years of TV had on the country?" - BBC (June 2004)


"Four years ago, Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan's first crime wave - murder, fraud, drug offences." - The Guardian (June 2003)


"The Impact of Television: A Natural Experiment in Three Communities"  - The World (Jan 1995)  and  Amazon


"In 1973, a small Canadian town (called "Notel" by the investigators) acquired television for the first time. The acquisition of television at such a late date was due to problems with signal reception rather than any hostility toward television. Joy et al20 investigated the impact of television on this virgin community, using as control groups two similar communities that already had television. In a double-blind research design, a cohort of 45 first- and second-grade students were observed prospectively over a period of 2 years for rates of objectively measured noxious physical aggression (e.g., hitting, shoving, and biting). Rates of physical aggression did not change significantly among children in the two control communities. Two years after the introduction of television, rates of physical aggression among children in Notel had increased by 160% (P<.001)." - Scribd.com (June 1992)  and  Cursor.org (June 1992)


"When I published my original paper in 1989, I predicted that white South African homicide rates would double within 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television in 1975, the rate having already increased 56% by 1983 (the most recent year then available).8 As of 1987, the white South African homicide rate had reached 5.8 homicides per 100 000 white population, a 130% increase in the homicide rate from the rate of 2.5 per 100 000 in 1974, the last year before television was introduced." - Scribd.com (June 1992)  and  Cursor.org (June 1992)


"JAMA Study: Link found between TV and homicide rates"  -   The New Citizen (Fall 1992)


"Youth Crime in N.C. linked to media violence"  -  The New Citizen (Fall 1992)






How Violent TV Increases Aggression Among Viewers


"Violent video games and movies make people numb to the pain and suffering of others, according to a research report published in the March 2009 issue of Psychological Science." - Science Daily (Feb 2009)


"The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research" - NCBI (Dec 2007)


"Television characters like Dirty Harry or Bugs Bunny may seem harmless, but it's such characters who appear justified and rewarded in their portrayals of violence on television that could have a long-term negative effect on children, according to a team of University of Michigan psychologists." - American Psychological Association (May 2003)


How TV teaches Aggression - Thinkquest


"Many people believe that children are more aggressive than they used to be. If this is so, social psychologist Albert Bandura has found at least one reason why – social learning – the children copy the behavior modeled by others around them, and that imitation is influenced by reward and punishment." - A Line on Life (May 1995)


"Frequently viewing TV violence – with both children and adults – is directly related to increased aggression. Frequently viewed violence makes aggression seem like a social norm. In other words, it leads viewers to see aggression as an acceptable way – sometimes the only way – to solve conflicts. After viewing violent programs, children play more roughly – fighting more frequently, breaking toys, or snatching toys away from others." - A Line on Life (Nov 1995)


"The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science. Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others."  -  PsyOrg (March 2011)


"What is Social Learning Theory?" - About.com


"Trained to Kill: A military expert on the psychology of killing explains how today's media condition kids to pull the trigger." David Grossman (August 1998)


Neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni discusses mirror neurons, autism and the potentially damaging effects of violent movies. - Scientific American (July 2008)


"Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center’s Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Research Center have shown that watching violent programs can cause parts of your brain that suppress aggressive behaviors to become less active." - Physorg (Dec 2007) - More on the same study - Science Daily (Dec 2007)






Desensitization


"To understand the effects of repeated exposure to violence, researchers have suggested that viewers become comfortable with violence that is initially anxiety provoking, much as they would if they were undergoing exposure therapy." - Wikipedia


"The more we expose ourselves to a something, the more we get used to it. This process, known as ‘habituation’, applies to all sorts of things – bright lights, level of wealth and, yes, the taste of food." - Discovery Magazine (Dec 2010)


"Violent video games and movies make people numb to the pain and suffering of others, according to a research report published in the March 2009 issue of Psychological Science." - Science Daily (Feb 2009)  and  Research Report (Feb 2009)


"An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of repeated exposure to sexually violent films on emotional desensitization and callousness toward domestic abuse victims. Results indicated that emotional response, self-reported physiological arousal, and ratings of the extent to which the films were sexually violent all diminished with repeated film exposure. Three days following exposure to the final film, experimental participants expressed significantly less sympathy for domestic violence victims, and rated their injuries as less severe, than did a no-exposure comparison group." - APA PsycNET (Sept 1995)  and  PubMed (Sept 1995) 






Can Catharsis Reduce Anger?


"Still, despite ample evidence to the contrary, the “catharsis hypothesis” continues to have appeal." - Psychology Today (Feb 2014)


"The idea that “venting” anger has a beneficial cathartic effect is well entrenched in modern culture. Belief in the value of venting has manifested in the online world in the form of “rant” sites (e.g. Rant Rampage) where people not only get to freely express their vitriol, they can also read and comment on rants left by other venters. However, decades of research have shown that venting, far from releasing anger, actually makes it worse. Not surprisingly, a recent study has shown that online ranting seems to increase anger and is associated with anger-related problems." - Psychology Today (March 2013)


"Periodically in this blog, I have explored the positive and negative effects of video games. In a previous post, I discussed that playing violent video games can promote aggression. One reason why this may be a problem is that many people think that playing video games may lead to catharsis.  So, here is the problem in a nutshell. If someone holds the belief that playing a violent video game will help them to blow off steam when they are angry, then they may choose to play violent video games when they are angry. The violent video game may actually promote aggressive behaviors rather than stopping them. So, people may unwillingly make themselves more aggressive when they intended to make themselves less aggressive." - Psychology Today Blog (July 2010)


"You Can't Punch Your Way Out of Anger" - Psychology Today Blog (Sept 2009)


"Anger: the misunderstood emotion" - Google Books


"Though pop psychology books and articles perpetuate the notion that ''getting your anger out'' is cathartic and can help dissipate hostility, the researchers have found just the opposite: Venting anger on inanimate objects -- punching a pillow or hitting a punching bag, for example -- increases rather than decreases aggressive behavior." - APA (March 1999) see also The New York Times (March 1999)



"Is viewing violence cathartic? The large amount of violence in the mass media is often justified by the concept of catharsis. The word catharsis comes from the Greek word katharsis , which literally translated means “a cleansing or purging.” The first recorded mention of catharsis occurred more than one thousand years ago, in the work Poetics by Aristotle. Aristotle taught that viewing tragic plays gave people emotional release ( katharsis ) from negative feelings such as pity, fear, and anger." - Online Encyclopedia



"Releasing pent-up energy, or fluids, was Aristotle’s counter argument to Plato who felt poetry and drama filled people up with silliness and made them unbalanced." - You Are Not So Smart (Aug 2010)



"It turns out that when put to the test, researchers have discovered that not only does venting not necessarily improve our psychological state, it may actually worsen it." - Psychology Today (Feb 2011)


"Can Exercise Moderate Anger?" - New York Times (August 2010)


"Results offer some support to the belief that engaging in weight training, or at least engaging in voluntary physical activity, may have an effect on reducing inmate aggression levels." - Sage Journals (March 1999)














          

     

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Recommended Websites


Bowling Alone 


Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood


Ellen Currey Wilson – The Big Turnoff 


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The New Citizen


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TV Smarter - Blog 


TV Stinks 


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"What most surprised me were the results I got from my study, which found that the more kids are exposed to consumer culture, they likelier they are to become depressed, suffer from anxiety, or experience low self-esteem. I would have thought it was the other way around — that consumer culture was the symptom, not the cause."





TV Limiting Technology


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Token Timer


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TV Be Gone


TV Be Gone - Article


Stanford Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (SMART) curriculum is being used in California and Michigan. SMART in San Francisco, SMART in Canada