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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  3 Bandura, Ross, & Ross, 1963a, 1963b; Berkowitz & Rawlings, 1963; Donnerstein & Berkowitz, 1981), crime and delinquency (e.g., Belson, 1978; Hennigan, Heath, DelRosario, Cook, & Calder, 1982; Huesmann, Eron, Lefkowitz, & Walder, 1984) desensitization (Huesmann, 1986), and fear or pessimism (Cantor, 1994; Gerbner et al., 1994). Television Violence: Content Analyses Violence has been the most extensively examined aspect of television content and has also been studied, though somewhat less frequently, in other types of media, from newspapers and magazines to television news. Among the earliest researchers of violence on television were Gerbner and colleagues who provided “violence profile” tallies conducted regularly over 30 years (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994). They defined violence on television as “the overt expression of physical force against self or other, compelling action against one’s will on pain of being hurt of killed, or actually hurting or killing” (Signorielli, Gerbner, & Morgan, 1995, p. 280), examining primetime and Saturday morning programming, beginning with the 1967-68 season. The data of Gerbner and colleagues reveal persisting patterns (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994). Saturday morning children’s programming, dominated by cartoons, contains between 17.9 and 32 acts of violence per hour and involves 8 out of 10 characters in violence. The majority, 65%, of all primetime television programs contains violence. On primetime, violent scenes occur at an average rate of 2.9 per hour. The Gerbner data also show that the rate of violent acts on television has been quite stable over the past few decades.

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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Bandura, Ross, & Ross, 1963a, 1963b; Berkowitz & Rawlings, 1963; Donnerstein &
Berkowitz, 1981), crime and delinquency (e.g., Belson, 1978; Hennigan, Heath,
DelRosario, Cook, & Calder, 1982; Huesmann, Eron, Lefkowitz, & Walder, 1984)
desensitization (Huesmann, 1986), and fear or pessimism (Cantor, 1994; Gerbner et al.,
1994).
Television Violence: Content Analyses
Violence has been the most extensively examined aspect of television content and
has also been studied, though somewhat less frequently, in other types of media, from
newspapers and magazines to television news. Among the earliest researchers of violence
on television were Gerbner and colleagues who provided “violence profile” tallies
conducted regularly over 30 years (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994). They
defined violence on television as “the overt expression of physical force against self or
other, compelling action against one’s will on pain of being hurt of killed, or actually
hurting or killing” (Signorielli, Gerbner, & Morgan, 1995, p. 280), examining primetime
and Saturday morning programming, beginning with the 1967-68 season. The data of
Gerbner and colleagues reveal persisting patterns (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, &
Signorielli, 1994). Saturday morning children’s programming, dominated by cartoons,
contains between 17.9 and 32 acts of violence per hour and involves 8 out of 10
characters in violence. The majority, 65%, of all primetime television programs contains
violence. On primetime, violent scenes occur at an average rate of 2.9 per hour. The
Gerbner data also show that the rate of violent acts on television has been quite stable
over the past few decades.


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