Zillmann, D., & Johnson, R. C. (1973). Motivated aggressiveness perpetuated by exposure to aggressive films and reduced by exposure to nonaggressive films. Journal of Research in Personality, 7 (3), 261-276.
Abstract: Under conditions of both minimal and extreme initial provocation, the effect of exposure to neutral vs aggressive films on subsequent aggressive behavior (shock delivered to another S) to 52 male undergraduates was assessed relative to a no-exposure condition. Excitatory changes (e.g., blood pressure and skin temperature) were also recorded. Under minimal provocation, communication conditions had no differential effect on aggressive behavior. Under extreme provocation, relative to the no-exposure condition the neutral film significantly reduced subsequent aggression, whereas the aggressive film reduced it to an insignificant degree only. The excitatory changes observed in the extreme-provocation conditions coincided with these differences in aggressive behavior. Findings, obviously counter-cathartic, are inconsistent with the proposition that filmed aggression elicits aggressive behavior. A. Bandura’s reasoning on attentional shift was modified to account for the data. An alternative explanation is also presented from considerations of the aggression-modifying effect of residual excitation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)