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The effects of media on prosocial behaviour.

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Introduction

The effects of media on prosocial behaviour There has been substantial number of studies that has provided evidence for the potential value of the media for the development of prosocial behaviour. Prosocial behaviour can be defined as helping behaviour, altruism or generally any behaviour that is positive and calculated to promote the interests of society. Television programmes contain many examples of good behaviour acting kindly and with generosity. Studies demonstrate that children may imitate forms of prosocial behaviour such as altruism, positive interaction with others when exposed to models who display such behaviours. This is especially true when the model is rewarded for their behaviour. In Bryan and Bryan's (1970) study, 6 to 9 year olds were shown a specially recorded filmof a character bowling and winning gift certificates. ...read more.

Middle

Greenfield (1984) has claimed that television literacy involves teaching childrem to be informed consumers of television. This includes distinguishing between social reality and the make-believe world of television, interpreting and assessing sex role and minority group stereotypes. Huesmann et al. (1983) allocated young children who were known to have a large amount of exposure to T.V to a control or experimental group. The experimental group received 3 training sessions designed to reduce the modelling of aggessive behaviour seen on t.v. They were taught that t.v does not portray the world as it realkly is, that camera techniqes and special effects give theb illusion that charaters are perofrming their highly aggressive and unrealistic feats, and that most peopel use other methods to solve the problems encountered by characters in t.v programmes. ...read more.

Conclusion

as well as being better prepared for school life (Lesser 1974). However this is not true for all children. Rockman (1980) found that when programmes have a character struggling with a particular problem (e.g bullying, divorce etc) but cannot make a decision, children are able to understand the content and can then generate prosocial rather than antisocial solutions to the problem faced in the plot. The more violence we are exposed to on t.v, the more densitised we become and so we are less likely to engage in violent behaviour, "watching violence on t.v makes me less tolerant to violence in society." Conclusion/evaluation Research focuses too much on the influences of television and are not focusing on the benefits of the newspaper, radio, etc. According to Gunter (1998), the ordinary broadcast material can enhance a wide range of helping behaviours. It is important that people should be able to see antisocial behaviour in the media so that they can distinguish between prosocial and antisocial behaviour. ...read more.

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