The Effects Television Has on Children's Moral Reasoning

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When children watch violence on television, what do they see? Many cartoons and video games in today's society produce many violent products to sell to children. What exactly do these children perceive from these violent acts, and how can these acts of violence affect these children in the long run? A recent study conducted by Krcmar and Vieire was put into place to test whether violence on television had an effect on the moral reasoning of children, and why does this effect occur. Within the study, the researchers realized that family communication and family modeling also had a part in the structure of a child's moral reasoning. Moral reasoning has been identified as the ability to make and offer explanations for ethical choices; perspective taking is an ability to imagine the view point of another (Eisenberg, 1986).Cartoon violence presents violence in performance sequence "where violent sequences unfold from the perspective of the person who commits the act" (p. 270). Krcmar and Vieira came together and established three hypotheses; Perspective taking will mediate the link between children's exposure to fantasy violence and their perceptions of justified violence. Hypothesis two: Controlling for the age of the child, parents' responses to justified and unjustified dilemmas will be positively associated with their children's responses, and hypothesis three: Family communication will be related to children's moral reasoning such that it acts to mediate the relationship between fantasy violence exposure and moral reasoning (Krcmar & Vieira 2005). In order to conduct the test, they produced a cross-sectional study including 177 parent and child participants, sampled in two different ways. Students were offered the option to either collect information then write a brief paper describing their experience, or to work on an individual research paper. Out of 27 students, 20 chose to assist in collecting information. While the children filled out their surveys, the...
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