Does Media Violence Encourage Murder?

Dr. Chuck Williams went head-to-head with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” about whether or not violence in the media produces violent behavior, a conversation sparked by the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.

Dr. Chuck claims that – while many adults are able to separate reality from fantasy – studies show that young people who witness and observe violence often model that behavior. Also, for someone who is suicidal – whether because of mental illness or depression – and wants to go out “in a blaze of glory,” the type of gratuitous, stylized violence we often see in movies provides a perfect blueprint to act out. Ultimately, Dr. Chuck asks us all to consider, what are we willing to allow as a society?

Dr. Chuck is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and an educational psychologist who has joint faculty appointments at Drexel University as an associate teaching professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. He previously served as the director of Drexel’s Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence.