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media influences on behaviour

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Outline and evaluate research theories in to media influences on behaviour. Certain forms of media compose the multi-billion dollar a year entertainment industry. The largest markets in the entertainment business are TV and movies. Almost one and a half billion Americans attend movies in the theatres each year. Over one billion households worldwide have at least one television set. TV and movies have positive aspects, which enhance the society. Numerous films and programs bring joy and satisfaction to many people; however a number of observers will argue that some elements of entertainment are not appropriate for young children. Violence on TV and in movies is a controversial aspect under much scrutiny nowadays. A reason TV and movies are under scrutiny is that children in America are exposed to more violence on TV with each passing year. The average American child watches 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school. Studies suggest that television violence is responsible for the increase in childhood violence. Conversely, it is widely believed that American children are negatively affected by violence on TV and in movies because it desensitises them to violence, and leads to sometimes irreversible patterns of behaviour and actions in their adult lives. ...read more.


Zamora was said to be "brainwashed into living in a television fantasy world", rendering him incapable of understanding he was even committing a murder (Torr 21). This case is the first of many in which the defendant claims he or she was exposed to too much violence on TV or in video games. This case leads to a question: Does television violence directly affect the behavior of children? Is television violence responsible for the number of violent acts by America's youth? Thomas G. Moeller would agree. Moeller is a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington and a licensed psychologist who specializes in youth behavior and is an expert in childhood violence. In Moeller's book, Youth Aggression and Violence, different studies are analyzed correlating the link between youth aggression and TV violence. One study highlighted in his book is done of three different Canadian towns. The towns, Notel, Unitel and Multitel all received the same government owned Canadian television networks. At the time of the study, the children in all three towns had the same aggression level. The towns were then introduced to three major U.S. networks. Soon after, the levels of both verbal and physical aggression among not only the youth but adults as well had increased dramatically. ...read more.


Sullum also suggests that the researchers see and record what they want to see. He quotes a psychologist named Jonathan Freedman who has done many studies on media violence and researched many aspects of TV, and he says, "The majority of studies do not find evidence that supports the notion that television violence causes aggression" (Torr 111). Sullum also argues that correlation does not prove causation. The fact that people act more violent when around violence doesn't mean that their actions are caused by it. Sullum writes that children acting aggressively could just be that violent or aggressive people prefer to watch violent entertainment (Torr 112). Finding a flawless means of testing the effects of TV violence on children seems not to be plausible. There will be those who support the studies supporting it and those who oppose. No one party is incorrect with their theories, but the question still remains if there is a direct correlation between what children see on TV and how they act. Regardless of what the studies show, what children see on TV is on the shoulders of the parents. America's mothers and fathers are directly responsible for not only what children watch on TV, but more importantly how a child is raised, and what kind of man or woman he or she is likely to become ...read more.

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