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Keynote Speaker - Dr. Edward Donnerstein
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Edward Donnerstein, University of Arizona. His talk is titled "Mass Media and Violence: Research, Context, and Policy Implications."

Dr. Donnerstein's presentation is supported by the American Psychological Society as part of APS's ongoing efforts to bring the best in psychological science research to regional audiences.

Title of Presentation
Mass Media and Violence: Research, Context, and Policy Implications


Abstract of Presentation
America is a violent country. The statistics on crime and violence in the United States are staggering, particularly with regard to children and adolescents. What accounts for these alarming trends? There is an extensive body of research into the multiple causes of aggression in society. Cutting across all these investigations is a profound realization that the mass media contributes to anti-social behavior in our country.
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The goal of this presentation is to review what is known about the harmful impact of exposure to media violence on children, adolescents, and adults. I will examine how much time adults and children spend with the media, and the amount of violence on American television, specifically the context in which it occurs. Further, I will discuss what the research community has concluded about the effects of exposure to media violence. Since this research indicates that not all violent portrayals pose the same risk of harm to the audience, I will delineate all those contextual features of violence that have been found by empirical research to either increase or decrease the risk of harmful effects on both child and adult viewers. Finally, I will address possible solutions for mitigating the harmful impact of exposure to television violence. Specifically, the research on the effectiveness of ratings and advisories, teaching critical viewing skills, and media-initiated educational campaigns will be examined.

Dr. Donnerstein's presentation is supported by the American Psychological Society as part of APS's ongoing efforts to bring the best in psychological science research to regional audiences.


Biographical Information
Dr. Edward Donnerstein is Professor of Communication and Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. Prior to his appointment at Arizona in 2002, he was the Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication, and Dean of Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A social psychologist, he received his PhD in psychology in 1972. He held appointments at the University of Wisconsin, as well as visiting positions at the University of Lethbridge and Beijing University, China.

Donnersteinšs major research interests are in mass-media violence, as well as mass media policy. He has published over 200 scientific articles in these general areas and serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals in both psychology and communication. He was a member of the APA Commission on Violence and Youth, and the APA Task Force on Television and Society. He recently served on a new US Surgeon Generalšs panel on youth violence. He currently serves on the Advisory Council of the American Medical Association Alliancešs violence prevention program, and is President of the International Society for Research on Aggression. In addition, he was primary research site director for the National Cable Television Associationšs $3.5 million project on TV violence.

He has testified at numerous government hearings both in the United States and abroad regarding the effects and policy implications surrounding mass media violence and pornography, including testimony before the US Senate on TV violence.


 
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