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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 17:28

Watching violent television can make you more aggressive

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kids-watching-tv-file-5424343People who watch violent television, films or video games are more likely to be aggressive, as they interpret the mildest of slights as provacation, researchers have found.

The International Society for Research on Aggression (IRSA) concluded that that evidence shows that media violence consumption can act as a trigger for aggressive thoughts or feelings already stored.

They have now warned parents to keep an eye on what their children are watching, telling them to use a "you are what you eat" approach.

In their report, based on a review of pre-existing research literature, the commission concluded that aside from being sources of imitation, violent images such as scenes in movies, games or even pictures in comic books act as triggers for activating aggressive thoughts and feelings already stored in memory.

If these aggressive thoughts and feelings are activated over and over again because of repeated exposure to media violence, they become chronically accessible, and therefore more likely to influence behaviour.

The commission concluded: "One may also become more vigilant for hostility and aggression in the world, and therefore, begin to feel some ambiguous actions by others, such as being bumped in a crowded room, are deliberate acts of provocation."

The researchers wrote: "Parents can also set limits on screen use, and should discuss media content with their children to promote critical thinking when viewing. Schools may help parents by teaching students from an early age to be critical consumers of the media and that, just like food, the 'you are what you eat' principle applies to healthy media consumption."

While most public policy has focused on restricting children's access to violent media, the commission found that approach to have significant political and legal challenges in many countries.

For that reason, it recommends putting efforts into improving media ratings, classifications, and public education about the effects of media on children.

The report is published in journal Aggressive Behaviour.


news source: the telegraph
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Read 13300 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 17:46

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