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An Investigation into the effect of media In the form of Violent and non-violent movies on perceived Levels of stress.

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Introduction

An Investigation into the effect of media In the form of Violent and non-violent movies on perceived Levels of stress Abstract The aim of this investigation is to research the relationship between Media in the form of violent and non-violent movies on the perceived levels of stress. The hypothesis stated that the group that viewed the violent view clip would have an increase in heart rate in comparison to that of the non-violent. The physiological effects for both the violent and non -violent movie groups was monitored to view if the violent movie would cause an increase in the physiological responses; in an empty classroom. An opportunity sample of Twenty four participants aged 16 - 17; equal men and women all students, all had resting heart rate taken. One group; equal men and women, was then shown a violent video clip. The other group was then shown a non-violent video clip. Both group's had there pulse taken after at the immediate conclusion of their clip. The investigation showed that there was an increase mean heart rate of the violent clip group and a means heart rate decrease in the nonviolent. The conclusion drawn were that violence is a stressor and can effect physiological responses, and media can also decrease stress (non-violent). Introduction One of the most debated subjects in today's world is the perceived effects of violence through media on today's society. With the amount of violence being broadcasted increasing immensely over the last 20 years and continuing on an upward trend. In 2002 The Broadcasting Standards Commission published that there was an average of 5.2 violent scenes per hour on UK TV and that more violence was shown before the 9 o'clock watershed than after for the first time since records began. This clearly illustrates that children are at a greater risk of being exposed to violence. And it is this exposure to violence that is widely controversial, as many groups believe this exposure can shape a child's character in later life, leading to anti-social behavior. ...read more.

Middle

* 2 stop-watches to be used for timing heart rate and length of clip * Individual piece of paper for every participant to record heart rate before and after. Pens will also be required for this. * Classroom was required for research to take place. * Consent form for each participant, to cover ethical issues. (see appendix) * Copy of the standardized instruction for each of the three researchers. Also a debriefing form for one researcher to read out at conclusion of study. ( see appendix) Procedure: The 24 participants were gathered together; 12 men and 12 women, the group was halved with 6 men and 6 women going into each group. The first group of participants (group A) was taken into the research room. The standardized instructions are conveyed to group. (See appendix) this involves the signing of the consent from ( a signed example can be seen in the appendix). Group A then follow the instructions given by the researcher; taking and recording heart rate. They then view a scene of violence out of the film Save the Last dance.Immedatly after this the standardized instructions tells the participants to again take heart rate and record it. The group is then debriefed and asked to leave. The second group is then brought into the research room (group B). the same set of standardized instructions is given to this group with the same procedure being followed. But instead of viewing the violent clip group B views the non-violent clip. Results The Raw data that was gained from each group can be seen in the appendix. Average Violent Non-violent Mean 1.25 -0.6 Mode 2 and 1 -1 Range 8 9 The following graphs show the mean starting heart rate and the mean increase/ decrease in heart rate to show the comparison. And show the affect that it had in both conditions. Analyzes of Results Figure 1: Shows that there is a distinct change after the stimulus has occur, the majority of the participants heart rate increases after viewing the violent clips; 9 out of the twelve, which therefore illustrates the person is stressed by this. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally to prevent the effect of music on the heart rate, the problem I previously mention I would use a different video clip for both violent and non-violent groups. One in which had no background music to stop this from being a factor and to see if this had an effect on my previous results. The film clip may also be change to an 18, although this would have ethical issue it would make the violence more realistic as real life violence is not judged my certificates which it was in the original study.(certificate 15) but to over come the ethical issue participates would have to be over 18. On reflection I believe that this study has highlighted the fact that media can effect people whether in a positive way; non violent, or negative; violent. But it is this negative aspect that has caused wide spread controversy and when you consider the research that has been done to establish that violence in media cause a stress reaction; increase in heart rate. This controversy is just! With stress related illness coming to prominent's in modern times, people are frequently coming into contact with mild stressors without being aware. Further research into this would give a greater foundation for an educated judgment to be made on this matter i.e. lower the amount of violence on television as this could decrease cases of CHD. As stated in the introduction stress causes the activation of the stress reaction thus the release of fats into the blood, and if these fats are not use through exercise they deposit in veins. With violence in the media on the continuing increase along with heart disease could this slight contributor be significant in the long run. Further research would be done under the bases to find the effect of violence on a persons immune system, and would have the hypothesis that an increase in violence will cause an increase in the likelihood of stress related illness. ...read more.

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