• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and Evaluate two or more explanations of the pro-social effects of the media (24)

Extracts from this document...


Describe and Evaluate two or more explanations of the pro-social effects of the media (24) One explanation of the pro-social effects of the media on behaviour comes from Bandura's Social Learning Theory. Bandura's research suggests that children learn through observing a behaviour, then later imitating it if the expectation of reward is high. For example the child needs to pay attention to a role model for example seeing a super hero, then there needs to be retention of the information into the LTM, reproduction, so the child imitates the same type of behaviour such as helping others, and finally the child needs to be motivated to imitate the behaviour such as, being the same gender. The process of social learning works in the same way for learning pro-social acts as seen on television as it does for learning anti-social acts (vicarious reinforcement). Unlike the depiction of anti-social acts, however, the depiction of pro-social acts (such as generosity or helping) is likely to be in accord with established social norms (e.g., the need to be helpful and generous to others). ...read more.


One strength of media influences on pro social behaviour comes from further empirical support from Woodward (1999). In their study they found that US programmes for pre-school children had high levels of pro-social content: 77% of programmes surveyed contained at least one pro social lesson. This suggests that there is wider academic credibility for the influence media has on pro-social behaviour. A further strength of LST comes from further empirical support provided by Mares and Woodward (2001). They found from their research that children are most affected when they are able to see exact steps for positive behaviour, such as when someone donates tokens. This could be because they can remember concrete acts better than abstract ones. This suggests that there is wider academic credibility for the idea of imitating pro-social behaviour. Furthermore, the explanations into the media effects on pro-social behaviour is that there are practical applications. For example, Johnston et al. Found that learning pro social behaviour was best when there were follow up discussions. ...read more.


This suggests that the findings from this research could not be applied to real life situations. Another weakness of Johnston's research is that there is contradictory evidence provided by Rubenstein et al. (1982). They found that in a study of adolescents hospitalised for psychiatric problems, found that post-viewing discussion led to decreased altruism, possibly because the adolescents wanted to take up a view that was contrary to that held by adults. Moreover, the effects of media on pro-social behaviour is that it is reductionist. The reason for this is because other factors need to be involved, for example personality and temperament of the child and parents. This suggests that the research is oversimplistic when explaining helping behaviour. A final weakness is that the research is culturally specific. The reason for this because the majority of the research has been carried out in the USA and therefore the criteria of pro-social behaviour may be different to non-western societies. This suggests that the research cannot be generalised to the whole population. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay makes a good attempt at answering the question with a balanced presentation of evidence for pro-social influence of the media. Remember to proofread

Marked by teacher Stephanie Porras 21/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically evaluate whether Milgrams research on obedience was ethical

    4 star(s)

    of the role they had played and explained to them that their behaviour had been normal. Open-ended questions and psychometric measures were used to test that they had not been harmed in any way and the participants were reunited with the "victim" to show that he had not been harmed by their actions (holah.net/milgram study)

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate biological explanations of aggression

    4 star(s)

    Harrison's study only used male participants and then generalised the results to the whole population - these is beta bias, as it is assuming that there are no real differences between men and women. Also men have higher levels of testosterone than women - so how does it affect women?

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of the Level of Processing on the amount of information recalled

    4 star(s)

    Also, the participants may be aware of the expectations of the experiment and change their behaviour; these are demand characteristics. The researcher may indirectly convey the purpose of the experiment, as shown by the researcher's behaviour. Independent measures: This involved using two groups, but all the participants took part in the same conditions.

  2. "Anti-Social Behaviour is caused by a person's family background"

    I am aware of the importance of ethics in any research study, participants will not be required to write their name, as I will be addressing issues surrounding illegal activity, respondent's are aware that their anonymity is respected so they are more likely to answer honestly.

  1. Explain and evaluate: Agency theory, Power of Social Roles, Social Identity theory, Realistic Group ...

    The more positive the image of the group, the more positive will be our own social identity, and hence our self-image. Social comparison: comparison is made between groups in order to increase self-esteem. In-group favouritism and out-group negative bias enhance social and personal esteem, and lead to biased perceptions of in- and out-group members.

  2. How might prejudice develop and how might it be reduced?

    This study showed how individuals who completed questionnaires about the rating of their own country against others, demonstrated high levels of favouritism as apposed to national stereotyping, supporting Tajfel and Turners theory of social identity. A good example of this theory in everyday life is the existence of football hooliganism.

  1. Outline and Evaluate Psychological Research into Minority Social Influence

    Moscovici found that the na�ve participants of the consistent trials yielded to the majority 8.4 per cent of the times by providing an incorrect answer, whilst those of the inconsistent trials only yielded 1.3 per cent of the times. In the consistent condition 32 per cent yielded at least once in the experiment.

  2. A) Describe the contribution of a biological perspective to our ...

    It has been found that violent criminals have less activity in the areas of the brain which are thought to help inhibit actions. This seems to support the argument that behaviour is linked to biology, however it is unlikely to explain all criminal behaviour and crimes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work