Why Observing Violence Increases the Risk of Violent Behavior?

Lucyna Kirwil , L. Rowell Huesmann


Severe violent behavior is almost always the product of predisposing individual differences and precipitating situational factors (Huesmann, 1998). One important environmental experience that contributes both to predisposing a person to behave more violently in the long run and to precipitating violent behavior in the short run is exposure to violence. Psychological theories that have emerged over the past few decades now explain the short-term precipitating effects mostly in terms of priming, simple imitation, and excitation transfer. However, the long-term predisposing effects involve more complex processes of observational learning of cognitions and of emotional desensitization. In this chapter these theories are elaborated, and the compelling empirical evidence in support of these theories from experiments and longitudinal field studies is reviewed. We explain why the processes operate equally well from exposure to real life violence or exposure to dramatic violence in the mass media. We focus particularly on the role of low emotional arousal and diminished emotional reactions to violence as consequences of exposure to violence and precursors of violent behavior. We argue that anticipated emotional responses play an important role in the cognitive processing that controls violent behavior. Abnormal violent behavior is not viewed as a consequence of “deficient” processing, but rather as a consequence of “different” processing.

Author Lucyna Kirwil (Wydział Psychologii)
Lucyna Kirwil,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, L. Rowell Huesmann
L. Rowell Huesmann,,
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Book Flannery Daniekl, J., Vazsonyi Alexander T., Waldman Invin D. (eds.): The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression., 2007, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Languagepl polski
2007-Huesmann-Kirwil-Cambridge-frontmatter.pdf of 14-09-2015
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2007-Huesmann-Kirwil-WhyObservingViol-CambridgePress.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Dorobek Naukowy - Approve URLhttp://dn.swps.edu.pl/Biuro/ZatwierdzanieWpisu.aspx?WpisID=1268
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