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Violent media content and aggressiveness in adolescents: A negative feedback-loop model
Unformatted Document Text:  A negative feedback-loop model page 2 Violent media content and aggressiveness in adolescents: A negative feedback-loop model A substantial and growing body of research supports the claim that youth exposure to media violence leads to increased aggressiveness (see Anderson & Bushman, 2002; Bushman & Anderson, 2001 for recent reviews). Nonetheless, few if any of the studies on which such claims are based (other than laboratory experiments) systematically take into account selective exposure as an alternative explanation for the relationship of media exposure with aggressiveness. In other words, if the same predispositions that lead to aggressive behavior also lead to using violent media content, many of the relationships found in cross-sectional and even many longitudinal studies might be called into question. The present study proposes and tests a negative feedback-loop model for the relationship of violent media content and aggressiveness among youth. This model accounts for both selective exposure due to aggressive tendencies resulting in choice of violent media content, and for the effects of exposure to such content on subsequent aggressiveness. The central proposition of this model is that while aggressive tendencies may lead youth to seek out media content consistent with those tendencies, the resulting exposure reinforces and exacerbates those aggressive tendencies. Evidence for Effects of Violent Media Content on Youth A recent review and meta-analysis by Anderson and Bushman (2002) of 284 studies strongly supports the proposition that media violence influences aggression. Effect sizes are largest (near .3) for the 124 laboratory experiments and for the 28 field

Authors: Slater, Michael., Swaim, Randall. and Anderson, Lori.
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A negative feedback-loop model page 2
Violent media content and aggressiveness in adolescents: A negative feedback-loop
model
A substantial and growing body of research supports the claim that youth
exposure to media violence leads to increased aggressiveness (see Anderson & Bushman,
2002; Bushman & Anderson, 2001 for recent reviews). Nonetheless, few if any of the
studies on which such claims are based (other than laboratory experiments)
systematically take into account selective exposure
as an alternative explanation for the
relationship of media exposure with aggressiveness. In other words, if the same
predispositions that lead to aggressive behavior also lead to using violent media content,
many of the relationships found in cross-sectional and even many longitudinal studies
might be called into question.
The present study proposes and tests a negative feedback-loop model for the
relationship of violent media content and aggressiveness among youth. This model
accounts for both selective exposure due to aggressive tendencies resulting in choice of
violent media content, and for the effects of exposure to such content on subsequent
aggressiveness. The central proposition of this model is that while aggressive tendencies
may lead youth to seek out media content consistent with those tendencies, the resulting
exposure reinforces and exacerbates those aggressive tendencies.
Evidence for Effects of Violent Media Content on Youth
A recent review and meta-analysis by Anderson and Bushman (2002) of 284
studies strongly supports the proposition that media violence influences aggression.
Effect sizes are largest (near .3) for the 124 laboratory experiments and for the 28 field


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