Honors Blog #3: Lies (As If)

Karina Kosmala, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Further along in book, As If, Blake Morrison finally views the tapes of the confessions of both Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, assessing their answers and how they approach to the questions asked. He previously thought that Robert didn’t have any feelings of regret when killing James Bulger. However, when listening to the confessions, and seeing Robert break down, he questions whether or not Robert is feeling regret when reassessing his actions, or is he lying. The possibility of him is lying is quite likely based on the fact that he contradicts his own statements. Unlike Jon Venables, who rather than playing games with the police officers and having them catch all the little mistakes in his story (like Robert), he fears admitting to what happened in front of his mother. Yet once Jon admits to helping kill James, he tries to make the incident seem rather an act of innocence (an accident). From the tapes coming to the conclusion that Jon was pressured by Robert to commit the crime. However, Blake Morrison takes a step further and questions what’s going on in their families, if they really act the same way they appear in court.

Tying with the book, the article, “How Lying Affects Your Health,” from (U.S.News), where a study conducted by psychology professor, Anita Kelly instructed one group of people not to lie, but could not answer a question, while not telling the other group any of those details just mentioning that they were to note of any lies they told each week. The results were that both groups lied less; however, the first group was in better health condition than the following group. Studies show that lying releases stress hormones, increasing heart rate, and the blood pressure since it requires some work to come up with an answer, think it through, rather then speaking the truth or “what comes naturally.” In the book, As If, we could possibly assume Robert was lying by the way he contradicted his own statements, since he didn’t think it completely through.

Further on in the book, Blake Morrison tries to understand if the horror film of Child’s Play 3 had an impact on the murder, if there is a link between media and crime. Therefore, my second article, I took a more recent article, “Study finds parenting style could drive children to play violent video games.”   Blake Morrison argued that some parents are more restricting then others when it comes to what children should watch on TV, I picked this article in order to assess whether violent media (not necessary movies) does play a role in how the child behaves. A study conducted by Russell Laczniak, from Iowa State University, compared the parenting styles, and whether children (12 year olds) were likely to play violent video games. According to his study, it turned out that the emotional and anxious parents, had the kids that played the violent games. Further research by the APA Task Force concluded that video games lead to “aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect, and decreases in prosocial behaviour, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.” Compare a violent video game for young children to a horror movie that is also not appropriate for that certain age group. Although, as of right now it is just a possibility in the book (an idea presented by other reporters), that the movie would have an effect on the boys since the movie already was questioned for in a different case. Yet, the same ideas that when horrific and violent behavior is shown, there could be some tie to the actions and behaviors of some people.