Eminem v. Rambo

A comparison of media violence effects for auditory versus visual modalities

Wayne Warburton*, Lana Gilmour, Peta Laczkowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


It is well established that exposure to violent visual media is associated with increases in aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviours. However, research regarding the effects of exposure to violent music is more scarce and has returned inconsistent findings. In their review of the literature, Roberts, Christenson and Gentile (2003) suggested that (1) the angry tone of violent music has a much stronger effect on aggressive behaviour than does exposure to violent lyrics, and (2) that the effects of violent music exposure on aggression are not widespread. In this study both assertions were tested. Participants (N=309) were measured for levels of trait aggression, selfreported actual aggression, and exposure to violent visual and auditory media. Exposure to violent visual media and exposure to violent music were both significantly correlated with trait and actual aggression, and the size of the effect was similar for both modes. When the effects were examined in detail, it was found that whereas exposure to violent visual media had a stronger effect on levels of physical aggression, exposure to violent music had a stronger effect on levels of indirect and displaced aggression. In addition, the effect of exposure to violent lyrics was found to be similar in strength to the effect of exposure to music with a violent 'tone'. The implications of these findings for current theories of media violence effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonality Down Under
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Australia
EditorsSimon Boag
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781604567946
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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