The Impact of Mass Media Violence on U.S Homicides

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Article Critique “The Impact of Mass Media Violence on U.S Homicides” by David P. Phillips


 The research titled Impact of Mass Media Violence on U.S Homicide done by Philips in partnership with American Sociological Association is a true story scripture that tries to explain the relationship between what is shown in the media and daily happenings. The research is based in United State between the years 1972-1978 when homicides cases were rampant (564). Philips holds a series of laboratory experiments where subjects he observes the behavior of the subjects after watching violence stories from media. More than 2500 studies support that mass media violence triggers aggression to the victims. Philips carried out four alternative explanatory experiments that provided positive and negative response towards then test. In this paper I plan to place my own critique on the research as follows.

 First, is to determine as a researcher how laboratory subjects who react after watching violence on mass media. The test results were 90% positive as the subjects tried to imitate what was done on television. Sometimes they end up injuring fellow because of aggression. Second experiment was based on analysis of suicidal news coverage. The test showed that the more the news about suicide around California the higher the rate of suicide witnessed within the area. However, the more suicidal cases were car accidents which are difficult to differentiate if they were totally of mistunes of life or its violence watched over the television

 I would start by concurring with the author that mass media triggers violence at some point. Ideally, the airing of violence videos teach children adverse ideas like the use of weapons such like guns. Psychologically, human beings tend to try new thing they see to validate its applicability. Children have are the most affected in this area. Suppose they watched a wrestling involving chairs and tables yet similar tools are within their vicinity. There is high probability of one using them against his fellow when raged. The same case would apply to the use of guns. Children would get away one another’s life trying to emulate what he saw in the television. In these scenarios, mass media violence leads to increased homicides.

 Secondly, it is sadistically to notice that a worldwide wrestling show, heavyweight prize television does not promote violence to viewers. The show is real, exciting, rewarded show that has audiences throughout the world. In my view, Philips research results do not hold water. The reason being, despite the fight being an organized, professional game, viewers tend to practice the same without moderators like referees. According to my unrecorded research, there are people who have lost lives either watching or while practicing the tactics used during the show.

 Thirdly, using laboratory to test a non-laboratory aspect was a great miss to Philips (567). The behaviors of laboratory subjects do represent the overall behavior of general public concerning violence. The subjects in a laboratory knows what the outcomes are expected from them hence they would tend behave differently to prove that it true. Once an individual confined in certain context would tend give results favoring the outcomes. Besides, the researcher did not specify whether the increase in the homicides in suicidal matters whether it is was accidental or intentional. It is very vital to separate the variables for clear and purposeful data analysis.


 The research by Philips effects of media on violence shows substantial evidence in relating the aspects of violence. Many researchers disagree with the fact of relating laboratory fighting with real world. The hitting of plastics and metals do not represent the tools used in violence. Furthermore, most laboratory specimens are always children whoa ere in the nursery school that cannot represent the general people of U.S. With the assumptions I confidently criticize the research.

Work Cited

Phillips, David P. "The impact of mass media violence on US homicides." American Sociological Review (1983): 560-568.

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