Wrestling with violence : desensitization to violence through viewing professional wrestling
Williams, Kevin Donald
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Several violent attacks have taken place recently where the defendant attacked the victim using wrestling-style maneuvers. This experiment tests if watching professional wrestling desensitizes college-aged subjects to acts of actual violence. Eighty-six subjects were divided into four conditions which included watching either wrestling, "Walker, Texas Ranger," boxing, or soccer. Subjects were then exposed to the same clip of an actual violent event caught on tape. Measures reflecting how violent the subjects judged the actual violence to be and reflecting personal aggression levels were taken. After a three-day period, subjects returned to view only the video of actual violence and to complete the same measures. An analysis showed no significant differences between conditions on any of the scales measured; however, trends did indicate that there may be a relation between both watching wrestling and higher aggression levels and watching wrestling and rating the video of actual violence as less violent.