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Relationship between media exposure and desensitisation to violence

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Relationship between media exposure and desensitisation to violence ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to construct a questionnaire, which will assess the relationship between media exposure and desensitisation to violence. The design employed for this study was a correlational survey using single blind conditions. There were 22 respondents to the questionnaire who were asked to fill in the given questionnaire (see appendix). I used an opportunity sample, which was the students of South Cheshire College. The research was also conducted in the college. The questionnaire tested for two conditions 1. The amount of television watched and 2. The sensitivity to violence rating. The alternate hypothesis was rejected using a speraman's rho statistical test, which showed there was no correlation between the amount of television watched and person sensitivity to violence. My conclusion for this study is that there is no relationship between the amount of television watched by a person and their sensitivity to violence. 147 Words INTRODUCTION Surveys are a common way and means of collecting data for analysis. They have the advantage of providing a wealth of data at a little cost in terms of time and expense. They also provide access to data, which is not available through direct observation of behaviour. The general area of study that I will design my survey for will be the relationship between media exposure and desensitisation to violence. Psychologists explain the effects of television violence on aggressive behaviour in terms of arousal, disinhibition, imitation, and desensitisation. The observation that levels of aggression are increasing is blamed on the fact that there is more violence on television. ...read more.


Some examples of the questions I asked are: - Do you think that there is too much violence on the television? (Excluding the news) Yes No Why do you think this is? ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ What do you think of television programmes such as 'Bad Girls' or 'The Bill' regarding the amount of television violence shown? The above question was asked as a closed-ended question with a number of possible statements to chose from. It may help to include some filler questions in my questionnaire. By doing this I was able to mislead the respondent from the main purpose of the survey. It also helps to have some easy, non-threatening questions, which will help the respondent relax. An example of a filler question that I used is: - What are your hobbies? ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ This type of question can be asked either as a closed or open-ended question and will help the respondent feel like the researcher has an interest in his or her other pursuits. Co-variables The co-variables in my investigation are the lack of sensitivity towards violence and the amount of television watched (exposure). Ethical issues The ethical issues that I needed to deal with were avoided by gaining informed consent from the participants thus eliminating all deception and distress. It was important to keep the confidentiality of the participant and give the option to withhold data. It was also vital that the participants were debriefed. Participants I carried out the research myself on my target population. My target population was males and females between the ages of 16 and 20. To do this I used an opportunity sample, selecting students from South Cheshire College, as they were readily available to me. ...read more.


Anderson et al. (1986) found that the amount of hours spent watching television starts to level off at the age of seventeen and as 95% of my participants were older than seventeen they may already know what type of programmes they like to watch and already know if they are already desensitised to violence shown on television. There were many limitations to my experiment. The questionnaire that I designed had not been thought out well enough as it was difficult to try and rate an individuals sensitivity to violence. The rating scheme was not ideal as it resulted in many sets of tied ranks which is not the best situation to carry out the statistical test that I chose which was a Spearman's Rho. As I chose to use an opportunity sample, which had cost and time advantages, it was not representative as a whole. It is very likely that a large majority of the respondents watched the same types of programmes not making my sample ecologically valid. I also feel that if my questionnaire had contained more questions to assess the respondent's sensitivity towards violence I would have met my hypothesis. With a greater range of questions and a well thought of rating scale then I think that my investigation would have been successful. If I were to carry out further research in this field I would try and use a different sample more representative of the public. I would also like to see if there is a difference in genders due to the varied television viewing between the sexes. Conclusion The amount of television watched by and individual has no significant relationship to their sensitivity towards violence. Peoples sensitivity score is generally the same regardless of the amount of television viewed. ...read more.

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