Helping and aggression are core topics in social psychology. So far, abundant evidence that violent media decreases helping and increases aggression has been collected. However, recent theoretical and empirical work has demonstrated that the media may also increase prosocial outcomes and decrease antisocial outcomes. In fact, exposure to media with prosocial content increases the accessibility of prosocial thoughts, empathy, and helping behavior and decreases aggression and aggression-related cognition and affect. The present article reviews this research and provides an overview of when and why media exposure instigates helping and reduces aggression.
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