Predicting exposure to and uses of television violence



The uses-and-gratifications tradition posits that individual needs for stimulation and for information vary systematically. These needs may affect what media sources and other stimuli are accessed by individuals. In this study we sampled adolescents and college students to examine (a) the relation between sensation seeking and exposure to violent and nonviolent television, and (b) the subsequent role that violent television may play among high sensation-seeking adolescents in their exposure to risky behaviors. Two sensation-seeking dimensions, disinhibition (positively) and experience seeking (negatively), related to adolescents' exposure to violent television. In addition, among sensation seekers, those who exhibit risk-taking behavior were not similar to those who watched violent television, making it unlikely that the two sets of behaviors can compensate for one another. We discuss implications and directions for future research.