prosocial behaviour in media

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  • Created by: hmarks62
  • Created on: 06-02-15 11:23
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  • Prosocial Behaviour
    • Mares (1996): More likely to generalise after viewing antisocial acts rather than prosocial (not necessarily exact copying, but acting aggressively  so the overall effectiveness of prosocial messages is limited
    • Parental Mediation
      • Austin (1993): Effective PM involves discussion, explaining of ambiguous disturbing content and following up of presented concepts
      • Has been found to enhance the learning effect of sesame street
      • Rosenkoetter (1999): With PM, children as young as 7 were able to understand complex moral messages in adult sitcoms
    • Exposure to prosocial behaviours
      • Woodard (1999): survey found 77% programmes in the US for children had at least one prosocial lesson
        • BUT, these may not be the popular programmes. Only 4 of the top 20 programmes watched by under 17's had any prosocial lessons
    • Social Learning Theory
      • We learn by observation how to do things & when it is acceptable to do them.
        • We then imitate these behaviours, and the likelihood of repetition depends on the consequence
      • Unlike antisocial acts, prosocial acts on TV are likely to represent already established social norms
        • Seeing such acts is likely to reinforce these norms, making us more likely to repeat the behaviour
    • Valkenburg et al (1999): Most supposed PM is really 'social coviewing' (content is not discussed) and is largely ineffective
      • BUT, parent is still an effective mediator if discussion and explanation is achieved
    • Developmental Factors
      • Many of the skills that are synonymous with prosocial behaviour (empathy, moral reasoning) develop throughout childhood
        • We might expect there to be differences in the degree to which different ages are influenced by the prosocial content - Younger children will be less affected, as less developed.
    • Mares (1996): Weaker effect in adolescence than in school kids, with pre-school kids having an intermediate effect. Suggests media influence is unlikely because they may not be ready to absorb such information, and home experience may be more important
    • Studies have found children are most affected when shown exact steps to positive behaviour - they can remember concrete acts more easily than abstract ones.


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