As well as individual studies of anti-social effects, meta-analyses (e.g. PAIK and COMSTOCK, 1994) offer a more global view of research in this area.
Study 1: THE NATIONAL TELEVSION VIOLENCE (1994-1997)
A01: Researchers evaluated 10,000 hours of TV, and found the highest proportion of violence in children's programmes, which also showed fewest long-term negative consequences of violence
A02: The anti-effects lobby
- BELSON (1978) found that boys who watched the most violent television were half as aggressive as those who watched moderate amounts (suggesting that the relationship is unpredictable)
- HAGELL and NEWBORN (1994) found that violent teenage offenders watched less TV than non-offenders.
Study 2: META-ANALYSIS of RESEARCH (PAIK and COMSTOCK, 1994)
- The researchers examined 217 studies and found a highly significant relationship between television violence and aggressive behaviour, which was slightly higher in males.
- The size of the relationship depended on the age of the participant and the genre of programming
Many of the earlier studies were laboratory-based, i.e. not typical of a child's normal television experience.
In response to claims that correlations were quite small, BUSHMAN and ANDERSON (2001) point out that they were second only to the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
Study 3: ST HELENA (CHARLTON et al., 2000)
- A01: The vast majority of measures used to assess pro and anti-social behaviour showed no difference in either after introduction of television.
- A02: However... other natural experiments have found a difference after the introduction of TV (e.g. WILLIAMS, 1986)
- A01: The high levels of good behaviour noted before TV's arrival continued despite the same level of violence in films as that shown in the US.
- A02: This can be explained by... CHARLTON who suggests that a strong community identity removed the need to be aggressive in St. Helena.
Study 4: VIDEO GAMES and AGGRESSION
- DILL and DILL (1988) - A recent review of research evidence in this area concluded that exposure to video game violence increases aggressive behaviour.
- ANDERSON and BUSHMAN (2001) - A meta-analysis of 33 studies found a small but significant correlation between exposure to violence during game play and subsequent aggressive behaviour.
- Most studies in this area have been correlational, and do not indicate a causal relationship between playing violent games and violent behaviour.
- Studies rarely distinguish between aggressive behaviour and aggressive play, which may lead to faulty conclusions.