Does aggression cause a preference for viewing media violence?
Two experiments tested the hypotheses that physical aggression and fantasy aggression would lead to a preference for viewing violence. In Exp I, 45 female and 42 male undergraduates were induced to express aggressive, nonaggressive, or no fantasies and were then given an opportunity to select film clips for viewing. The films chosen by men contained more violence than those chosen by women. In addition, aggressive fantasies in males, compared to nonaggressive fantasies, increased the preference for viewing violence. Exp II, with 64 males, replicated the results of Exp I and also found that men who were given an opportunity to aggress physically, compared to those who had no such opportunity, were more likely to choose to view films containing violent content. Results suggest that just as the viewing of violence may increase aggression, so, too, aggressive behavior may increase the preference for viewing violence.
Fenigstein, Allan, "Does aggression cause a preference for viewing media violence?" (1979). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37(12): 2307-2317. Faculty Publications. Paper 37.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology