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Does Media Violence affect behaviour?

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Introduction

Linda Meng 13A Does Media Violence affect behaviour? Media Violence is not violence present in the news; but violence in movies (on DVDs and VCDs), computer games, and cartoons as watching violence may be different from playing on the computer. Researchers have proved that violence in media could affect the individual's personality both in the future and present which could change a person's decision making and attitudes to life. A 1982 report by the National Institute of Mental Health claim that violent programmes on television lead to aggressive behaviour in children and teenagers. Researches have shown that o Children may be desensitised to the suffering of others. o Children may be more afraid of others. o Children may be more aggressive to others. ...read more.

Middle

Correlation is not causation however. FURTHER RESEARCH: Bandura's experiments showed that aggressive behaviour could be learnt and imitated from live, filmed or cartoon role models. It has been shown that violent programmes results in an increase in aggression in children (Liebert & Baron, 1972) but laboratory experiments may be too artificial. Field experiments have higher ecological validity than lab experiments. Parke et al. (1977) showed that aggression in delinquent boys rises if they watch violent films at home. No change in aggressive behaviour is observed if they view non-violent films. Natural experiments show that the introduction of televisions to a town increases the aggressive behaviour of the inhabitants (Joy et al., 1986). However, it is not possible to be sure that the change in behaviour was a result of violence on television. ...read more.

Conclusion

When looking at the Social Learning Theory, it was also claimed that children also model for example, their parents. Therefore it is suggested that parents can do something to reduce the likelihood of their children modeling on TV aggression - e.g. suggesting alternative (non- violent) solutions to problems being portrayed on TV. MEDIA INFLUENCES ON PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: According to some researchers, media violence may have a positive effect on behaviour: The cathartic effect of television violence may only be true for certain personality types, particularly imaginative and fantasy-prone people (Singer, 1989). Evidence exists that pro-social behaviours can be learned from observing positive role models on television, especially if the models are rewarded for their behaviour. In fact, it seems that the influence of television on pro-social behaviour is stronger than antisocial behaviour (Hearold, 1986). This may be because programme makers try to get across pro-social messages, which is not the case for anti-social behaviours. ...read more.

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