AQA A Media psychology- full topic revision notes

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Media influences
on Prosocial
Key Term Explanation + research Evaluation
Exposure to prosocial content analysis found two thirds of children's programmes contained at Woodard found that US programmes for pre-school children had high levels of prosocial content;
behaviour least one violent act. Greenburg looked at US children's programmes and 77% of programmes had at least one prosocial lesson. However, only 4 of the top 20 most watched
found as many prosocial acts as antisocial ones. TV programmes for under 17s had any prosocial lessons
Acquisition of Bandura's social learning theory says we learn through observation when to children are most affected when shown the exact steps for positive behaviour, may be because
prosocial behaviours imitate behaviours and the consequences. Prosocial acts are likely to they can remember concrete acts better than abstract ones. Learning prosocial norms may be less
and norms represent social norms so reinforce our social norms so we are more likely to common unless followed up by discussion, Ettema found largest effects when programme was
be rewarded for imitating prosocial acts than antisocial acts. viewed in the class room and accompanied by teacher-led discussion. However, Rubenstein and
Sprafkin found decreased altruism among adolescents hospitalised for psychological problems,
possibly because adolescents take a counter view to adults
Developmental Eisenburg said that prosocial skills like moral reasoning and empathy, meta-analysis by Mares found that weakest effect of prosocial programming was for adolescents
factors develop throughout childhood into adolescence, so younger children may be and strongest was for primary school children, effects for pre-school were intermediate so effects
less affected by prosocial portrayal than older children. of media on development of prosocial reasoning may not happen because children are not ready to
absorb information and because they are more likely to be affected by home experiences than
media exposure
Parental mediation Austin said that effective parental mediation involves discussing any Valkenburg suggested that only some forms of parental mediation were effective in enhancing
ambiguous or disturbing material and following up with concepts shown in prosocial messages. In `social co-viewing' parents and children may watch together but not
the programme. This enhances the learning affect, and help children discuss the content. This type of mediation is ineffective. In `instructive mediation', which
understand more complex moral messages. involves discussion and explanation, the parent can be described as an effective mediator between
the TV and the child
Prosocial versus Mares found that children are more likely to generalise after watching aggressive acts, than
antisocial effects prosocial acts on television, after watching a specific violent act a child could express their own
aggressive behaviour in a different way but there is little evidence for generalising prosocial
behaviour which reduces its effectiveness. Lovelace and Huston suggest that prosocial effects can
be achieved by setting prosocial acts against aggressive ones in the same programme.

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Four main behavioural effects of prosocial
Key term Explanation + research
Altruism (sharing, helping) studies usually involve explicit modelling of specific behaviours,
Poulos found that children who watch Lassie where a child
rescues a dog were more likely to help distressed puppies than
those who watched a neutral programme
Self-control (resistance to temptation, task persistence) when children were exposed to TV models showing self control,
they then showed higher levels of self-control.…read more

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Media influences on antisocial behaviour
Key term Explanation + evidence Evaluation
Observational learning and imitation children observe and imitate actions of media models, especially Bandura's research shows that children learn specific acts of
if they admire and identify with the model. TV may also inform aggression and increased aggressiveness through imitating
the viewer of the positive and negative consequences of the models. However, such imitation is rare outside Bandura-style
behaviour, so children imitate successful violent behaviour. The
studies using specially prepared videos.…read more

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James Bulger were said to have been
imitate the behaviour. Philips found a rise in the number of inspired by Child's Play but Cumberbatch reports no link was
murders after a heavyweight boxing contest, there was no rise ever found
after the SuperBowl contest.
Cognitive priming activation of existing aggressive thoughts and feelings, explains Josephson studied hockey players who were deliberately
why children observe one kind of violent acts but commit frustrated and then shown a violent or non-violent film where an
another.…read more

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The measures used to assess
changes in prosocial and antisocial behaviour showed no
differences. Measures that did how differences were equally split
between positive and negative changes; five showed decreases in
prosocial behaviour (boys and girls), while two showed increases
(boys only). Two significant changes in antisocial behaviour
showed a decrease.
Gender bias effects primarily focus on acts of male-on-male physical violence,
frequently viewed in artificial laboratory setting. Effects research
uses unrepresentative samples (male students) and then makes
generalisations about all viewers.…read more

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The Effects of
Video Games
and computers
Research technique Findings Evidence/ evaluation Further evaluation points
Experimental laboratory studies have demonstrated short-term increases in strength is that causal relationships between Why might there be an effect?
Studies-negative effects physiological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive exposure to game play and subsequent aggressive Research has yet to establish a reliable causal
behaviour following sessions of violent game play compared to behaviour can be determined, but only short term link between violent game play and aggressive
sessions of non-violent…read more

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Time 1 was significantly related to later physical aggression but researchers can observe patterns of behaviour and
aggression at Time 1 was not related to later video game play. study short-term and long term effects.…read more

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Video games have been successfully used in the
treatment of post-traumatic stress. E.g. the virtual
Iraq computer game . researchers have also
discovered that playing the game Tetris minimises
the minds tendency to flash back to memories of
traumatic events.
Multiplayer games and Games which include multi players offer the possibility of
social social outcomes, including learning about problems in society
commitment-positive or exploring social issues.…read more

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Distinguishing between many studies use violent and non-violent games that
violent and non violent are similar. One study used Missile Command
games although it involves no aggression towards people.…read more

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The Bi-directional Model although playing violent video games may cause an increase in aggressive behaviour, it is just as likely that people who have
aggressive personality traits preferentially select violent video games
Desensitisation people who repeatedly play violent video games become desensitised to violence so are more likely to use it
Interactive and passive video games `interactive' media violence in video games may have a greater influence than `passive' media violence in TV and films.…read more


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