Adolescent Perceptions of Animation Violence as an Indication of Aggressive Attitudes and Behaviors

Rosemary V. Barnett, Joshua Hirsch, Gerald R. Culen, Joy Jordan, Heather Gibson

Abstract


This reported study was designed to examine the beliefs and perceptions of adolescents on whether or not viewing violence on television contributes to an increase in adolescents’ abilities to learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors. It also explored the effects humor and satire used in the animated television series The Simpsons has on adolescents’ abilities to learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Finally, it examined to what extent the violence portrayed in The Simpsons was believed to be realistic and justified by adolescents viewing the show. Results indicate that adolescents were not affected by the violence they observed in The Simpsons animation: Further, they did not feel that it was acceptable for their favorite characters to use violence to solve problems. Youth did not have reactions to viewing the series that were violent, nor did they report becoming aggressive in response to viewing the violence on the The Simpsons. While the majority of the youth also reported that they did not use violence to solve a problem, 3.3% reported that they did. Overall, the study concluded that adolescents’ exposure to violent content by viewing it in animation in The Simpsons did not affect adolescents’ perceptions of their abilities to learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Youth did not perceive that the violence portrayed was realistic.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2014.76

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