Simple line is inaccurate on TV violence

12th May 1995 at 01:00
I find the sub-heading "Television does not influence children's behaviour" (TES Media, April 28) extraordinary. Not only is it untrue, but neither does it reflect the article below it. As I read it, David Gauntlet is saying that the simplicity of cause and effect research is not up to demonstrating the complex and multilayered effects which television, along with other influences, has on human behaviour.

I have been subjected to this simple "cause and effect" approach over many years in television and never ceased to be disappointed by the naive and shallow research reports resulting from it.

Researchers are paid to do their research often by interested parties; they are also wary of the possible use of their research by those with censorship motives as their main concern. Both of these are understandable considerations, but it is time we had an honest debate about what is and what is not provable by current research methods. It would save a lot of money and prevent inaccurate headlines and sound bites which breed complacency.

The TES has a readership covering researchers, education, parents and those in the media. It is the ideal place to get a more informed and sophisticated debate going.

EURFRON GWYNNE JONES

Educational media consultant 45 Nightingale Road Hampton Middlesex

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