Discuss Media Influences in Anti-Social Behavior. Essay

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Discuss media influences on anti-social behaviour This discussion has been at the centre of intense psychological research for the past 50 years or so; the question of just how media affects behaviour remains unanswered today. A key study defining the different sections of behaviour that are affected was put forward by Huesmann and Moise in 1996. The partners set about suggesting different ways that the public’s behaviour is altered by television. The extensive research resulted in 5 different categories, which I am going to discuss in this essay. The first of these is “Observational learning and imitation”. This shows that children may imitate violent behaviour they observe on television, especially if real people are involved and the child can identify themselves with the character. Phillips’s study of 1983 supports this theory; he examined crime statistics for a 10 day period following televised boxing contests and found an increase in violent crimes such as murder, yet when compared with statistics after an American football championship, no rise in aggressive behaviour was found. Despite identification of the aggressor being integral to this theory, Bandura’s research showed that a moderate level of aggression was found even though the protagonist was in a cartoon, where a decreased sense of character identification must occur with the child. Secondly, “Cognitive Priming” refers to the activation of aggressive thoughts and feelings and explains why people act more violently than normal after viewing a violent television show. Retrieval of the violent behaviours viewed may occur in a later scenario when any aspect of the televised act is paralleled in real life, no matter how prominent that aspect may be. The importance of this effect was illustrated in a study by Josephson in 1987; hockey players were deliberately frustrated and antagonised and then shown a
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