Observational learning of motives and consequences for television aggression: a developmental study

W. A. Collins, T. J. Berndt, V. L. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children (grades kindergarten (K), 2, 5, 8) who viewed an aggressive television program were interviewed to determine their knowledge of motive and consequence cues, the extent to which they related these cues to the aggressive action, and the basis for their evaluation of the aggressor. Younger children (grades K, 2) tended to remember aggression alone or aggression along with consequences, while older subjects recalled motives for the act, as well as its consequences. Younger subjects evaluated the aggressive actor in terms of the consequences of his acts, while older viewers evaluated on the basis of motives or both motives and consequences. There was evidence for age related improvement in the ability to infer connections between the actor's immediate and his superordinate goals. Implications for possible effects on observationally learned or disinhibited behaviors of age related changes in knowledge of motives and motive based evaluations were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-802
Number of pages4
JournalCHILD DEVELOP.
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1974

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