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4 Examining Media Effects

The General Aggression and General Learning Models

5. Media Effects/Media Psychology

1. Theories and Processes/Processing

1. Theories of/about Effects

  1. Christopher P. Barlett,
  2. Craig A. Anderson

Published Online: 28 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems110

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

How to Cite

Barlett, C. P. and Anderson, C. A. 2012. Examining Media Effects. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. 5:1:4.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 DEC 2012


The study of screen media effects is becoming especially important because people spend increasing amounts of time on visually realistic entertainment media. This chapter applies two related theoretical frameworks to the study of media effects: the general aggression model (GAM) and the general learning model (GLM). Both theories posit relations between media exposure and internal processes, behavior, and the development of long-term knowledge structures and attitudes. GAM focuses on the development of aggressive knowledge structures and attitudes derived from exposure to violent media depictions (amongst other aggression-related stimuli), and their relation to aggressive behavior. GLM, a broad extension of GAM, posits how long-term attitudes and knowledge structures are formed with continued exposure to any type of media (violent or nonviolent), and how “media-trained behavior” can ensue. How these processes operate, the role of individual differences, and short- and long-term consequences of media exposure are discussed.


  • General Aggression Model;
  • General Learning Model;
  • media effects;
  • media exposure;
  • prosocial medi;
  • violent media