Enhancement of Punitive Behavior by Audio-Visual Displays

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Science  08 Jun 1962:
Vol. 136, Issue 3519, pp. 872-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.136.3519.872


A group of male hospital attendants watched the knife-fight scene from the motion picture Rebel Without a Cause. A second, control, group watched an innocuous educational film. The group who watched the fight (the motion picture with aggressive content), and who were then required to run a conditioning experiment, punished errors more severely, using a significantly higher level of intensity of the punitive electric shock, than did the control group.