Violent Media Discussion Launches New Lecture Series
OGDEN, Utah – Is violent media making us violent? That’s the question for the inaugural lecture of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series at Weber State University.
Renowned researcher and WSU alumnus Brad Bushman will debunk several myths about violent media in his presentation scheduled March 14 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.
“Violent media influence how we perceive the world,” Bushman said. “People who consume a lot of violent media view the world as a mean and hostile place. Violent media can also increase aggressive behavior. Although it probably will not turn your child into a psychopathic killer, violent media can make them more verbally and even physically aggressive. Exposure to violent media can also make people numb to the pain and suffering of others.”
Bushman has written more than 130 articles and discussed his findings on national television, radio and in publications such as “New York Times,” “Newsweek” and “Time.”
He is chair of mass communication at Ohio State University and received a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Missouri, a master’s from Utah State University and a bachelor’s in psychology from Weber State University in 1984. His passion for the topic came while studying psychology as an undergraduate.
“Some of the best years of my life were spent at Weber State,” Bushman said. “I am absolutely thrilled to return. Indeed, the honors course on human aggression that I took from Dr. Hal Bertilson is what motivated me to study aggressive and violent behavior.”
Before the lecture, the WSU psychology department will award Bushman the Distinguished Alumni Award at a reception scheduled for 5:30 p.m., also in the Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.
“We are honoring someone who has done exceptionally good work on a very interesting and important issue of human aggression,” said Eric Amsel, chair of the psychology department. “His work has critical social and policy implications, and we stand to benefit greatly from his research and presentation.”