I have been a devoted fan of movies since I was in middle school, and science fiction films are my truest love. These films take the audience to a different world full of fantasy and excitement. Since my father took me to the movie theater for the first time when I was seven, I have never been able to resist the temptation to follow these films' lead and experience another life as the protagonist. Seeing the characters growing, exploring, fighting against villains, and saving the world, I can hardly find any other moments which easily make me feel so touched and heroic. Nevertheless, it results in a serious question that has been constantly asked by the public: Will film violence lead to aggressive behavior in real life, especially for teenagers who are more susceptible to outside influences? With my long-time affection for movies and this controversial topic in mind, I decided to explore the relationship between fictional film violence and real-life aggressive behaviors.
My approach to researching these questions is to analyze two academic articles on this topic from two different fields. One is a sociology paper titled “Film Violence and Subsequent Aggressive Tendencies,” and the other one is a psychology research report titled “Comfortably Numb: Desensitizing Effects of Violent Media on Helping Others.” In this project, I will compare and explore their similarities and differences through a grounded theory research method. Moreover, I will conduct an interview with my cousin who is also a passionate movie fan, and analyze his perspective of film violence. Through comparing the different perspectives of sociologists, psychologists, and my cousin who stands for the view of teenagers, I will discuss how different communities communicate this topic.
Can film violence increase the possibility of the audience engaging in aggressive behavior in real life? If so, how does film violence exert this influence?
How do different communities communicate the consequences of film violence to the general public?