Scientist Discusses Media Influence and Accountability on Violence

Written by PTC | Published March 19, 2013

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies today heard testimony from Dr. Brad Bushman, Professor of Communications at Ohio State, challenging the "myth that violent media have a trivial effect on aggression." According to one of Bushman’s studies (which he discussed in Psychology Today), "Why Do People Deny Violent Media Effects?", "heavy viewers of violent TV shows in first and third grade were three times more likely to be convicted of criminal behavior by the time they were in their 20s, and were significantly more likely to abuse their spouses and assault others." Bushman has stated that the media is in denial about the link between violence and media violence, and – like tobacco companies -- "might be reluctant to admit that they are marketing a harmful product," especially to children: "Educating parents about the research on violent video games is also important, [but it’s] an uphill battle, because the source of news and information for parents is the mass media, and the mass media are reluctant to report that violent media are harmful."

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