Few recent topics in social psychology have generated as much controversy as the impact of exposure to film and television violence on the behavior of observers. Although a large number of laboratory investigations have demonstrated that viewing aggression can increase subsequent viewer aggression, skeptics have seriously questioned the generalizability of these laboratory- derived results to real-life situations. The chapter reviews studies that provide a more adequate test of the effects of exposure to movie violence in a naturalistic setting. Three field experiments are described in which adolescent boys are exposed to several full-length unedited commercial films in their usual environment. Observations of interpersonal aggression formed the basis for the dependent indices. The purpose of this approach was to overcome some of the usual problems of generalizability. A brief examination of these problems and a review and critique of previous field experimental studies of movie violence are presented in the chapter.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology