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April 12, 1976

Violence on Television

Author Affiliations

National Broadcasting Co Inc New York

JAMA. 1976;235(15):1550-1551. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260410014005

To the Editor.—  The article on the effect of television violence by Dr Michael Rothenberg (234:1043, 1975) contains significant distortions that we would like to correct.First, Dr Rothenberg's statement that all research studies reviewed demonstrate increased aggressiveness as a result of exposure to TV violence seriously overstates the consistency and conclusiveness of these studies. Moreover, Dr Rothenberg ignores other important research that did not show any causal effects; for example, Stanley Milgram found no effect in a natural field experiment that used a more realistic and serious measure of aggression than do laboratory studies.1 Dr Rothenberg's conclusions are based mostly on laboratory research.Second, although Dr Rothenberg draws heavily on summaries of the literature by Goranson and by Liebert, he does not report their conclusions accurately. For example, in his book, Liebert reminds the reader that many of the studies were not even designed to test causality.The