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Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence Paperback – May 11, 2002

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan L. Freedman is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press; 1st edition (May 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802084257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802084255
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,504,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the mixed messages parents are getting on the issue of media violence and aggression, this book serves as an educative tool. We are usually treated to misleading sound-bites and talking points regarding the "scientific studies" the author evaluates. Like all science, these studies are not safe from scrutiny. There have been many poorly designed studies in this area and the author calls attention to them. I am dumbfounded by previous reviewers attempt to accuse this psychologist as someone trying to undermine psychology. For scientists: questioning one and anothers' research methods is part of the profession. This is how knowledge advances. The only insults to common sense I see are the studies that attempt to define aggressive behavior as popping a balloon, or thinking about violence after seeing violent movies.

Good science can and should stand up to scrutiny. The fact is, psychology has been guilty of some bad science.
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Media violence research is badly flawed in many respects. First, every scientist and social scientist who I've ever heard of who studies media violence is opposed to it, so the whole research agenda is biased from square one. Find me a scientist or social scientist who studies it because he/she is indifferent about it or likes media violence. Second, there is a logic problem: I, like everyone else I know, have seen thousands of murders in movies and on television, and yet I have never seriously contemplated murdering anyone. Among those people who have considered it, even only a fraction of them actually commit murder. So the role of mass media in murder, for example, must be extremely small to non-existent. Theories that suggest that we might or will do what we see in the media, such as cultivation theory, agenda-setting theory, social learning theory, socialization theory, etc., utterly fail to explain why so few of us are murderers; such research must admit that mass media play an extremely small to non-existent role in real-world violence. Third, even if media violence is partially responsible for some people being violent occasionally, this flimsy connection is not enough under the First Amendment, or based on common sense, to regulate or ban media violence. If the public wants to save lives, it could do so much more quickly and effectively by banning tobacco, alcohol, automobiles, guns, fast food and junk food. In other words, media violence would be way down the list of items or activities in American life that cause widespread harm and even death. Fourth, all of this research on media violence, even if it proves something, won't make any tangible difference.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Media Violence and Its Effect on Aggression is a very peculiar book. It is written in the style of H.L. Mencken--but without the scholarship and care. The book is a biased attack on the science of psychology, the profession of communications, and the common sense of any educated reader.
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