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Psicologia

Print version ISSN 0874-2049

Abstract

MONTEIRO, Maria Benedicta. Mass Media and the Construction of Social Reality: to Grow up in Portugal With Television Violence. Psicologia [online]. 1998, vol.12, n.2, pp.321-339. ISSN 0874-2049.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17575/rpsicol.v12i2.582.

Within the topic of direct and undirect effects of TV violence on children and adolescents, two studies with Portuguese samples are presented. In the first study 3928 subjects aged 9-17 answered a questionnaire about their TV viewing schedule and their TV heroes. Results showed: 1) that the subjects' average daily TV viewing is 2h 12m and that only 10% of younger children and 7% of the older ones view more than 4h a day; 2) that most preferred heroes are violent but pro-social, meaning that they only use instrumental violence to protect society against evil caracters, and 3) that high viewers (more than 4h a day of TV viewing) significantly prefer this kind of heroes while low viewers significantly prefer non-violent heroes. In the second study 363 subjects aged 14-18 answered a questionnaire about their perceptions of social reality conceming fear of victimization, locus of control and trust on others, besides their TV viewing schedule. An ANOVA performed on the four factors of the subjects' perception of social reality with sex and TV viewing schedule as independent variables showed a main effect of sex and a significant interaction between sex and TV viewing on the Fear-Extemal Control factor: while high-viewing girls increase their fear of victimization and rely on external control more than low-viewing girls to deal with violence, high viewrng boys decrease their fear of victimization and perceive more internal control than low viewing boys. The discussion of these results highlights Gerbner et al (1979) cultivation hypothesis as an undirect effect of television for high viewers.

Keywords : violência; atitudes; comunicação social; televisão.

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