Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

Alan Hartley

Rights Information

© 2014 Emily M. Roizin

Abstract

The Federal Communications Commission and the Motion Picture Association of America have strict guidelines for regulating sex, nudity and obscene language in television and movies, but do not regulate violence nearly as much (Donnerstein & Linz, 1994; Robson, 2004). However, empirical evidence suggests that violence can be harmful to children’s moral development (Byrne, Linz, & Potter, 2009). The current study examined if younger siblings are exposed to more obscene television at younger ages than older siblings, and if exposure to obscene television affects their moral development. For the purpose of this study, obscenity was defined as sex, nudity, obscene language, and violence, and the effects of each aspect of obscenity on moral development were studied separately. Participants will be asked about how much obscene television they watched growing up and then will be tested on how they would behave in morally wrong or morally ambiguous situations. The proposed results suggest that exposure to violent television can negatively affect moral development. Instead of regulating for sex, nudity, and obscene language, the FCC and the MMPA should focus more on the negative effects of violence.

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