The Effect of Media Violence on Early Teens’ Hostility

  • Fionna Adeline Swiss German University
  • Sharon Schumacher Swiss German University
Keywords: Film Violence, Experiment, State Hostility Scale, Media Psychology


As violence shown in films steadily increases, notably in those targeted towards the teenage audience, this research looks into its effect specifically by observing the change in audiences’ hostility. An experiment was done on 125 Indonesian secondary school students to observe the effect of exposure to media violence on their feelings of hostility, measured using Anderson’s State Hostility Scale (1995, 2012). Students’ hostility scores were measured before
and after being exposed to an assigned clip; either a violent clip, or an equally exciting but non-violent clip as a control group. Results showed that those in the violent condition were significantly more hostile after watching than before watching, and those in the violent condition were significantly more hostile post-exposure than those in the non-violent condition. Out of the four dimensions of hostility, the dimension ‘Lack of positive feelings’ was significantly highest in both conditions, and only the dimension ‘Aggravation’ significantly differed between the two conditions. These findings indicate that exposure to media violence
raises teen audiences’ hostility levels significantly, which implies that further precaution should be taken when exposing teens to certain film content which has significant immediate effects on
their moods, while also raising the issue of its potential long-term effects, should this exposure be continuous.