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Discuss studies into the influence of the media on antisocial behaviour including an evaluation of the research methods used.

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Discuss studies into the influence of the media on antisocial behaviour including an evaluation of the research methods used. There are many studies and examples to indicate that the amount of violence children witness on television or see through other forms of media are reflected in their own levels of aggression and violence. Studies into this include Bandura's Bobo Doll study, Parke's and Leynes' studies into teenage aggression, Black and Bevan's study into violence and the cinema and the St. Helena study. These studies had varying results but on the whole they support the theory that prolonged viewing of violence in the media equates to increased violence and aggression in real life. Bandura conducted a laboratory experiment to see whether aggressive acts by adults towards a Bobo doll would be copied by the children watching and whether the way in which the adult was treated after, either rewarded, punished or no feedback, would affect the results. Bandura found that children who had witnessed the model-rewarded or no consequences condition were more likely to imitate observed behaviour than the children who had witnessed the model-punished condition. ...read more.


Parke et al investigated boys in an institution where the amount of television and the type of television could be controlled. The juvenile offenders were shown films that either did or did not contain violence. Observers then coded the amount of violence demonstrated by the two sets of boys during that day. It was found that those who had watched the violent films were more likely to demonstrate violent behaviour. In a second part of the experiment the boys gave fake electric shocks to someone who had provoked them. The boys who had seen the violent films were found to be more likely to give more shocks. Whilst this study clearly demonstrates a correlation between media and actual violence the sample was most certainly not representative. The sample consisted of only boys and, as they were already offenders, they simply could be more inclined towards violence in the first place. An example of a naturalistic experiment into media affects of violence is the St. Helena study. Satellite television was introduced to the island in 1995 before which there was no television whatsoever. ...read more.


The results for girls were insignificant although the more media violence the boys were exposed to, the more likely they were to be convicted of violent crime by the age of thirty. This supports that media violence can affect violence in later life but, again, the results for the boys could be explained by them being more violent first and therefore watching more violence. The main problem with correlational studies is that one cannot determine cause and effect. Also longitudinal studies may suffer from high drop-out rates due to the length of the study. Whilst most of these studies show some relationship between the amount of media violence witnessed and the amount of aggressive behaviour displayed the cause and effect can often not be determined therefore it may be a person's aggressive nature that dictates how much media violence is witnessed instead of the amount of violence viewed causing the aggressive behaviour. Each type of study has its drawbacks and whilst results are suggestive of media affecting aggressive behaviour these studies are by no means conclusive. Also, there are other factors such as society and upbringing that can affect the development of aggressive behaviour, or lack thereof. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katherine Matson ...read more.

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