The Weapons Effect: How the Mere Presence of Guns Can Increase Aggression and Violence
Room 100, first floor auditorium
People are frequently exposed to guns and other weapons, both in the “real world” and in the “reel world,” especially in the United States. Although the US is only about 5% of the world’s population, US citizens possess over 30% of the world’s guns. Guns are also frequently depicted in the mass media (e.g., films, TV programs, video games, videos, music, books). In 1967, researchers found that the mere presence of weapons can increase aggressive behavior, which they dubbed “the weapons effect.” Bushman will describe the results of a comprehensive review of weapons effect studies conducted since then. He will also discuss his recent experiments on the weapons effect.