Ronald Bailey Parses New Research That Shows That Killing Pixels Doesn't Lead to Killing People
For decades it has been a shibboleth among most social psychologists that increasingly violent media—violent television, movies, and video games—increase the risk of violence in society. Their basic theory linking media violence to real violence can be summarized as "monkey see/monkey do." They believe that media consumers have difficulty distinguishing between real and fictional mayhem. Violence on movie or video screens supposedly supplies behavioral scripts that viewers and players later act out. Reel violence leads to real violence. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Balley shows that new research is finally calling these theories, methods, data, and sweeping assertions into question.