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Discuss Research Into Media Effects of Anti-Social Behaviour

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Introduction

Discuss Research Into Media Effects of Anti-Social Behaviour There is evidence that promotes the view that anti-social behaviour can be promoted by the media. Some of the effects are short lived and others will vary depending on whether the anti-social behaviour is shown on its own or not. Violent video games and TV are the main sources of media violence. On TV there is very little aggression overall. The Gerbner Studies (1970's and 1980's) found that in children's TV programmes 20 violent acts per hour occurred. Since 1967, the percentage of violent programmes has not increased but the number of violent acts per programme has increased. Halloran and Croll (1972) found that violence was a common feature on TV programmes but not as prevalent on British as it was on American TV programmes. Cumberbatch (1987) supported this, finding that 30% of programmes had violence in them but only 1% of TV is violent overall. Gunter and Harrison (1995) said that violence only occupies a tiny proportion of TV in few programmes. They found that 1% of terrestrial TV was violent and less that, 2% on satellite TV was violent. Altogether there is not very much violence on TV but what there is seems to be concentrated to a few programmes which if young children are exposed to could be damaging to them mentally especially in later life. ...read more.

Middle

This is supported by Liebert and Baran (1972) who found that children watching an aggressive film demonstrated a greater willingness to hurt another child. Both of these laboratory studies show that if children are exposed to aggression in the media, although this was set up intentionally, they can become more aggressive. Both of these studies are laboratory studies and the problem with these is that it is difficult to generalise findings to real life situations. A comparison of two cities was made by Hennigan et al (1982); one city had TV the other didn't. The presence or absence of TV did not affect the crime rate and there was no increase in violent crime when the city without TV got TV. There was an increase in robberies due to people seeing affluence on TV and wanting to possess more. Williams (1986) supported this finding that aggression in children increased when TV was introduced. Centrewall 91989) compared South Africa, Canada and USA. In USA and Canada the murder rates increased after TV was introduced. In South Africa the number of murders declined but only in white people. Therefore these studies show that if there is no TV in a certain place then the introduction of TV can increase the crime rate in that place. ...read more.

Conclusion

Different people interpret violent acts in different ways and they can be portrayed in the media for different reasons. E.g. a man had his house broken into, caught the burglars in his house and he shot them, was this a justified act of violence? It was highly publicised because of this. Media violence in studies is restricted to fictional programmes news programmes are exempt. If violence in fictional programmes has such adverse effects on people then why don't they have the same effects on people when they are shown in the news? The evidence does show that the media does have an effect on violent behaviour but the difference is very small and as Cumberbatch said, the results should be treated cautiously. The media does also have pro-social effects as well as anti-social ones; if the catharsis theory is correct then it can relieve aggressive feelings and prevent aggression in real life. The media cannot be completely blamed for aggression; there are other factors to be considered that could influence the person particularly a child. Research portrays children as helpless victims of the media's influence but it has been shown that children can critically talk about the media at age seven. The child's upbringing, background, culture and peers could all influence any possible aggressive behaviour. The media alone cannot be blamed for all aggression; other factors have to be taken into account. ...read more.

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