1. Latest News
  2. Submit Press Release
  1. PR Home
  2. Latest News
  3. Feeds
  4. Alerts
  5. Submit Free Press Release
  6. Journalist Account
  7. PRNewswire Distribution

Primetime TV primes the brain for aggression

New research shows there’s more reason to worry about TV violence than we previously thought.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
 
Linfield College Professor Jennifer Ruh Linder
Linfield College Professor Jennifer Ruh Linder
PRLog (Press Release) - Mar. 5, 2012 - LINFIELD COLLEGE, Ore. — A study by researchers at Linfield College (Ore.), Iowa State University and Brigham Young University shows that onscreen relational aggression, including social exclusion, gossip and emotional bullying, may activate the neural networks that guide behavior.

Mean screens prime the brain for aggression, says Jennifer Ruh Linder, a psychology professor at Linfield College.

“Past research has shown that viewing physical violence on TV activates aggressive scripts in the brain, but our findings suggest that watching both onscreen physical or relational aggression activates those cognitive scripts,” Linder said. “Viewers don’t simply choose to imitate TV characters or make a conscious decision to engage in aggressive behavior. Aggressive reactions are more automatic and less conscious than most people assume.”

“Historically, schools and parents have focused on physical aggression, but children are far more likely to be relationally aggressive than physically aggressive,” said Iowa State University researcher Douglas Gentile.

In the study of 250 college women, individuals were evaluated after viewing one of three video clips to assess — not their behavior — but their cognitive patterns. One clip depicted physical aggression, including a gun and knife fight that ended in murder; a second clip portrayed relational aggression, where girls steal boyfriends, spread malicious gossip and kick someone out of their social circle; and a third clip was simply a scary scene, one that would raise the heartbeat.

Researchers assessed physiological arousal and found that all three films produced similar levels of excitement. They then measured reaction times when aggressive or neutral words flashed on a screen. Participants were told only that the study would examine how viewing fast-paced action scenes influences reaction time.

Participants who had watched either aggressive film clip had slight delays when processing words that depict aggression. “Slower reactions mean the brain is doing more processing,” Linder said. “The individuals ascribed more meaning to words connected with aggression.

“When aggressive scripts are activated, aggressive responses to external stimuli will be more likely,” she said, “so our results help explain why past research has found that viewing both physical and relational aggression increases the chance that viewers will behave in a hostile manner.”

The researchers say more study will be needed to determine whether their results are gender-specific or not and whether this script activation indeed changes behavior. The research was recently published in the journal Aggressive Behavior.

# # #

Linfield illuminates the power of a small college, and is recognized for arts, sciences and professional programs, international emphasis and commitment to social responsibility.

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/11814591/1

--- End ---

Click to Share

Contact Email:
***@linfield.edu Email Verified
Source:LINFIELD COLLEGE
Phone:5038832321
Zip:97128
City/Town:Portland - Oregon - United States
Industry:Fitness, Medical, Research
Tags:Bullying, parenting, children, Youth, media, Medical, Health, Fitness, aggression, TV, mental health, families
Shortcut:prlog.org/11814591
Disclaimer:   Issuers of the press releases are solely responsible for the content of their press releases. PRLog can't be held liable for the content posted by others.   Report Abuse

Latest Press Releases By “

More...

Trending News...



  1. SiteMap
  2. Privacy Policy
  3. Terms of Service
  4. Copyright Notice
  5. About
  6. Advertise
Like PRLog?
9K2K1K
Click to Share