Violence: Media Trash or Brain Candy?


Alex Helton

Joan Love rages while playing Doom Eternal during his 7th period break.

Alexander Helton, Rookie Reporter

It is true that most of us would view violence as negative, or wrong, or as something we should avoid. However, it has proven time and time again that violence attracts a crowd, regardless of morality. But a question stands along with this statement. Why? Why do we find violence entertaining? 

 We like to feel like we are in an adrenaline-rushed situation. Overall, we like violence because we like to feel excited. Our brains are wired to integrate violent behavior into ourselves.

Something interesting that we can find is that while we may see violence as immoral, we actually experience violence positively when it is through media, whether it’s a screen or a book. We experience it even more positively when the violence happen a long while ago 

Even more interestingly, the more we expose ourselves to violence, the less we actually experience the feelings of violence. This means that when people watch violent media, they themselves are going to become violent. We do this because some of us are more attracted to adrenaline than others. Those who are adrenaline-junkies continue to watch more and more violent content to get that adrenaline high. 

One study conducted by Canadian-American Psychologist Bandura showed that small children and infants inherently mimic the actions of their parents, for better or worse. The same properties are shown to happen with television. Meaning that when something happens on TV, a child viewing it will mimic it, whether it’s cooking or swearing. This is because when you watch media such as television, it puts your brain into a state of permissiveness towards things that could be unhealthy. 

This also happens because at a young age, you are essentially forced to learn from your surroundings, which includes the objects or people around you. Children mimic in order to learn how to behave around others and when trying to be social. 

Brittany Hovland, psychology teacher at Wheat Ridge High said,; “Months of learning could take years to correct.” This means that when allowing your child to learn, one should be careful with the kind of input they have access to.

In addition, it has been shown by numerous studies that prolonged exposure to violent media as a child, especially under one year of age, can lead to more violent tendencies as a person ages. The reason for this is that the things we learn very early in life can become a core part of our personality if not corrected during the learning process.

Other studies have been done that show that gender plays a role in media. One study consisted of having two groups picking a movie. The two groups were split up and alone, one group being male and one group being female. The males chose the action movies much more than the group of females did. This, however, could be related more to upbringing than gender, as girls tend to be raised to be more  gentle than boys.

This could mean that we could potentially ensure that children are less likely to be violent by raising them in an environment that would be non conducive to violence. In fact research has deemed that when a child is raised in a non violent environment, they are less violent overall.