Explanations of Media Influences on Prosocial Behaviour

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  • Created by: YoyoTY871
  • Created on: 23-01-15 11:58
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  • Explanations of Media Influences on Prosocial Behaviour
    • Acquisition of Prosocial Behaviours & Norms
      • The Social Learning Theory claims that repetition of behaviours learnt through observation and imitation depends on the consequences of doing so.
    • Parental Mediation
      • Effective mediation involves parent explaining any ambiguous/ disturbing material & following up concepts in the programme.
    • Developmental Factors
      • Indicates that we can expect strong developmental differences in the degree to which children of different ages are influenced by pro-social content, since younger children may not understand the messages.
        • Meta- analysis found strongest pro-social effect for primary school children, weakest for adolescents and intermediate for preschool children.
  • Acquisition of Prosocial Behaviours & Norms
    • The Social Learning Theory claims that repetition of behaviours learnt through observation and imitation depends on the consequences of doing so.
  • Greenberg -
  • Exposure to Prosocial Behaviour
    • Explanations of Media Influences on Prosocial Behaviour
      • Parental Mediation
        • Effective mediation involves parent explaining any ambiguous/ disturbing material & following up concepts in the programme.
      • Developmental Factors
        • Indicates that we can expect strong developmental differences in the degree to which children of different ages are influenced by pro-social content, since younger children may not understand the messages.
          • Meta- analysis found strongest pro-social effect for primary school children, weakest for adolescents and intermediate for preschool children.
    • Analysed popular children's programmes in the US - found equivalent NO. of pro-social & antisocial acts an any hour.
      • meta- analysis found children who watched programmes with mixed messages behaved more aggressively than those who watched aggression alone.
  • Implies that mixed messages reduce the effect of of pro-social messages to having no positive effect at all, yet increase the effect of antisocial messages - thus this explanation alone is inconclusive due to a lack of evidence of pro-social messages causing pro-social behaviour.
  • Bandura -
  • This suggests that we are more likely to repeat pro-social than antisocial behaviours because the former gains more rewards.
    • Unlike antisocial behaviour, pro-social acts tend to be imitated only directly & not generalised to other forms of it.
    • Lab Exp:
  • Woodward -
  • Proposes that skills which are synonyms to pro-social behaviour (e.g. empathy, moral reasoning) develop throughout childhood and into adolescence.
  • Argues that with parental mediation, children as young as 7 are able to understand even complex moral messages contained in adult sitcoms.
  • Cultural Bias:
  • Lack of Generalisation:
  • Shows that this lack of generalisation limits the overall effectiveness of pro-social messages and that although pro-social acts are imitated, as the SLT suggests, it appears more likely for antisocial acts.
  • Suggests that the expectation that media may have an effect on the level of prosocial reasoning at all is unrealistic as children are likely to be more affected by home experiences.
  • Mares -
  • Found that 'social co- viewing', where parent watches with child but with no discussion, is largely ineffective in modifying children's interpretations of media messages, but that 'instructive mediation', involving discussion, is highly effective.
    • Argues that with parental mediation, children as young as 7 are able to understand even complex moral messages contained in adult sitcoms.
  • Rosenkoetter-
  • Einsenberg -
  • Suggests that perhaps the social and educational implications of prosocial media have been overlooked.
    • Is demonstrated in Greenberg's study, as much media research do. This study is based in the US, involving only American children and programmes - this means that its findings are unrepresentative of, and non- generalizable to, non- Western cultures and possibly even the rest of the Western world; thus this study can be said to lack population validity.
  • Both studies suggest that with positive & correct interpretations of media messages through parental mediation, children are more likely to understand the prosocial encouragement and antisocial discouragement, & thus to behave accordingly.
  • Valkenburg et al. -
  • The SLT is based on results from a lab experiment - this type of experiment suffers from a lack of mundane realism thus low ecological validity, due to its artificial setting an unrealistic situations which are not true to life. This means that the theory's propositions are not generalisable to real- life situations as children are likely to respond very differently than they did in the lab experiment.

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