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Will War of The Worlds damage our children?

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Will War of The Worlds damage our children? Part 1 The article entitled "Will War of The Worlds damage our children?" was selected from the Daily Mail on the 30th June 2005. The article is based on a film titled "War Of The Worlds" written by H.G Wells. Its content is of Martians invading Earth, signifying the end of human life and civilisation. Numerous psychological assumptions can be extracted from the source. The first assumption states that "violence could make youngsters more aggressive". This relates to Bandura's Social Learning Theory, which tells us behaviour is learned through observation. imitation and reinforcement. Our personalities are not innate but are learned through our life experiences and modelled on significant others in our lives. The second assumption is "parents should encourage their children to see the film as "entertainment and fantasy" so they were less likely to be affected. This relates to Gunter and McAleer's (1997) theory on how we percieve violence. ...read more.


The findings indicated that the children who had watched the model behaved more aggressively than the control group often producing many of the specific actsof the model. Bandura concluded that children could learn through imitation quite spontaneaously without any deliberate effort on the part of the model or the learner. According to Gunther and McAleer, viewers can be highly discriminating when it comes to portrayals of violence, and arn't invariably read into T.V content the same meanings researchers do. Thus, merely knowing how often certain predefined incidents occur in programmes doesnt tell us how significant these features are for viewers. The potential for emotional upset is increased when violent portrayals are set in a relistic setting, when the violence is depicted as justified or rewarding, when viewers identify with the characters and when the victims pain is shown graphically. Programmes which are extreemly violent in terms of objective counts of violent acts which can be seen by children as not violent at all. ...read more.


If we are to accept Gunther and McAleer's findings then subjective assessment of violence should be used and incorporated into the film. Children would be viewing the intended film however psychologically ignoring the violent content no matter how high the frequency of violent acts occuring. Therefore this would reduce the chances of upsetting children and protecting their emotional wellbeing and , however this has implications. It would be unrealistic to suggest that a film with set plans and ideas should be moulded to a specific target population. If we are also to accept Eron's findings then childrens time watching television should be limited and the programmes watched monitored and therefore should be guided away from watching the film War of The Worlds. This would prevent increased aggressiveness at a later stage in life, as the chance of a child witnessing violent acts are reduced. An implication of this would be that the parents/guardians of the child could be accused of inhibiting the childs fun and entertainment, especialliy if the child particuly would like to see the film, and this may be frowned upon and/or seen as over protective in todays society. ...read more.

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