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How and why does mass media violence affect children Within a span of a few short years violent television and video games have increased in popularity dramatically Yet the voices of parents concerned about their affects have also grown louder In todays society an average of five or six violent incidents occur every hour on daytime television And what about cartoons the most watched shows by children Cartoon programming contains the most violence portraying about eighteen acts of aggression per hour Recent studies suggest that by the time a child is twelve years old the average child will have witnessed a hundred thousand acts of violence on television But not only is violence prevalent in television video games are becoming increasingly violent with such titles as Mortal Kombat Quake and Tekken However the main question on the minds of parents as well as child psychologists is what sort of affect do watching violent television and playing violent video games have on children One major social psychologist states plainly that evidence suggests that violence on television is potentially dangerous in that it serves as a model for behavior especially for children Aronson 1995 p265 Differing conclusions abound another psychologist contradicts this saying general consensus among social scientists that television violence increases the propensity to real-life aggression among some viewers and yet paradoxically there is presently little evidence indicating that Diener DeFour 1978 How is it possible that there is such a large difference in the findings of qualified professionals performing valid scientific studies This paper will attempt to examine the affairs and issues that make the relationship between mass media and violence so difficult There are four major theories held by psychologists about media violence and aggression arousal social learning disinhibition and catharsis The first arousal promoted by P H Tannebaum holds that exposure to television violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation or arouses viewers Increased aggression follows when it is appropriate as
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