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Exposure to media violence makes people aggressive.

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Exposure to media violence makes people aggressive. Discuss with respect to current theories and research in social psychology. In social psychology, there are a number of theories and research that can explain why the exposure to media violence makes people aggressive. Media violence can be featured through the forms of video games, listening to music, watching television and reading books. Firstly, aggression can be defined by different terms, such as Bandura (1973) explains it as 'behaviour that results in personal injury or destruction of property' whilst Baron and Byrne (2000) describe it as 'the intentional infliction of some form of harm on others.' In order for researchers to be able to do research they must be able to measure aggression, by using an operational definition, as there are a number of terms for aggression, researchers have used a number of different operational definitions for aggression. An example is 'punching an inflated plastic doll' (Bandura, Ross and Ross, 1963). This may explain why aggression is hard to generalise between numbers of findings from researchers, and to come to a conclusion of whether 'exposure to media violence makes people aggressive'. ...read more.


Zillman's (1979, 1988 as cited in Hogg & Vaughan, 2008, p. 452) excitation-transfer model explains aggression by an individual interpreting the source of arousal and the aggressive response seems to be appropriate for the individual. This theory may show to exaggerate the role of arousal in which the individual responds to. Social learning theory is described by an individual learning the behaviour seen and imitating the behaviour from a model, then either rewarded or punished for their actions (Bandura, 1961, 1973). This can be explained by the famous study by Bandura called 'Bobo Doll' (Bandura, Ross and Ross, 1963). This showed that children are readily to imitate an adult being aggressive from either a live setting or on a videotape. Although, the social learning theory shows that there are distinction between the bobo doll and real life child. A child was easily to replicate the violence to the doll than a real child. There is more evidence for television violence such as the St. Helena Study (Charlton, 1998) showing when a television is introduced on an island and levels of aggression was measured before and after the research. ...read more.


457). Disinhibition can explain aggression as reason to be unable to control the impulsive response to a situation. For example, alcohol or drugs can take disinhibitioning effect, which can explain individual's aggression. There are situational factors that can explain an individual's level of aggressive behaviour, such as crowding and heat. Crowding can be explained as a subjective state and is generally characterised by feeling that one's personal space has been encroached (Hogg & Vaughan, 2008). There are a number of theories and research that can help to explain whether media violence makes people aggressive, but all of them don't fully explain whether media violence causes the aggression. Aggression can be taken in different forms so would be hard to generalise to all forms of aggression of what the theorist or the research evidence says to an individual. The exposure to the violence shows that some viewers will be affected some of the time. Although, exposure to media violence alone would not be sufficient to explain if it makes an individual aggressive. It depends on the individual, on how much violence is watched, the exact content, who they watch the content with, their family lifestyle, the society in which they live, and many others. ...read more.

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