Television, which was only in nine percent of American households in 1950, is now in ninety-eight percent of them. America is the world leader in real crime and violence, which some scientists attribute to the imaginary violence we see on TV. All Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, or social economic group, have been bound together by the shared cultural experience of television, but how does mass media influence people? In particular, does television violence cause aggression? There are many different points of view concerning aggression caused from television violence. A few of these social psychology theories include the “Arousal” theory, the “Social Learning” theory, the “Disinhibition” theory, and the “Aggression Reduction” theory. On the other hand, some believe the children who are prone to brutality are also drawn to violent shows because they are predisposed to aggression. The “Arousal” theory states that exposure to television violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation, or “arouses” its viewers. The “Social Learning” theory says that ways of behaving are learned by observing others, and that this is a major means by which children acquire unfamiliar behavior. This theory also leads us to expect that children who see fictional characters on television glamorized or rewarded for their violent conduct will not only learn those behaviors but will also be more likely to perform them themselves when given the chance. The “Disinhibition” theory declares that television violence in certain circumstances will result in increased interpersonal aggression because it weakens inhibitions against such behavior. The last point of view, “Aggression Reduction” states that under certain conditions exposure to television violence will reduce subsequent aggression. Children are watching, on average, close to twenty-eight hours of television every week. On an average that is 1,456 hours…
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