The effect of auditory versus visual violent media exposure on aggressive behaviour

the role of song lyrics, video clips and musical tone

Heidi I. Brummert Lennings*, Wayne A. Warburton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Five decades of research have shown clear links between exposure to violent visual media and subsequent aggression, however there has been little research that directly compares the effects of exposure to violent visual versus auditory media, or which has experimentally tested the effect of violent song lyrics with musical 'tone' held constant. In the current study 194 participants heard music either with or without lyrics, and with or without a violent music video, and were then given the chance to aggress using the hot sauce paradigm. Musical tone was held constant across groups, and a fifth (control) group had no media exposure at all. Experimental groups, on average, were significantly more aggressive than controls. The strongest effect was elicited by exposure to violent lyrics, regardless of whether violent imagery accompanied the music, and regardless of various person-based characteristics. Implications for theories of media violence and models of aggression are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-799
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Corrigendum can be found at Journal of Experimental Social Psychology volume 61, p 148, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.07.004

Keywords

  • violent music video clips
  • violent song lyrics
  • aggression

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