Does Media Violence Promote Aggressive Behavior?

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Running head: Does Media Violence Promote Aggressive Behavior
Does Exposure to Media Violence Promote Aggressive Behavior?
Valerie Bean
Psychology 150-107
October 29, 2011

There have been many studies done on the effects of media violence exposure and aggressive behavior. First the term media violence needs to be examined. What form of media violence is perceived to be the most influential? There are television shows, movies, music, news shows and newspapers, video games and cartoons. What type of violence such as, murder, rape, bullying, or theft is the public more apt to associate with and be affected by? Should a look at how true violent crimes are reported by the media also be considered? Last we should also look at
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A study of desensitization to violence through television and movies was conducted where participants were given violent and comedic movie scenes to watch over a short period of time. (Fanti, K. A., Vanman, E., Henrich, C. C., & Avraamides, M. N. (2009).) The participants were asked to report whether they felt sympathy towards the victims of the violence. Studies showed after repeated viewing of the violent scenes the participants were desensitized and became less sympathetic towards the victims. This did not make the participants more aggressive it only proves that the observer becomes emotionally and cognitively desensitized to media violence. Even though the studies did show the participants were affected after several showings there were also signs of desensitization after only 1 or 2 showings. Before the explosion and popularity of violent video games there were many equally and even more violent movies such as, Rambo, 300, Gladiator, War of the Worlds, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Troy have extreme violent themes.
Cartoons have recently been scrutinized for their violence. Shows such as SouthPark, The Simpsons, and Ren and Stimpy are obviously violent and influential to the preteen and teenagers. What about cartoons that have been on the air for over 50 years. If aggressive behavior is to be contributed to the effects of media violence then how are we to explain cartoons such as Roadrunner and Coyote, Elmer and Bugs Bunny and Tom and