Explanations of media influences on antisocial behaviour: desenstisation

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Psychology unit 4 media revision
Explanations of media influences on antisocial behaviour
Desensitisation
Description
With regular watching arousal to violent media tends to decrease and may
disappear altogether and therefore people are less likely to have a physiological
reaction each time they watch it. Therefore the more a person sees a violent TV
program the more they are used to seeing violence and therefore don't view it as
wrong. Therefore a child who watches violent TV programs may begin to think that
this behaviour is normal and so will be more likely to engage in aggression
themselves.
Evaluation
Thomas investigated 2 groups of children who watched a video of young children
behaving aggressively. Those children who had previously seen a violent TV
program became less physiologically aroused than those who saw a program
containing no violence. This shows that there is evidence to show that
desensitisation can occur in young children.
Cumberbatch argued that people might get used to screen violence but it doesn't
mean that they will get used to real world violence. Therefore desensitisation can
explain experimental findings but can't apply to real life. The explanation can
account for short term aggression after seeing violent TV but not long term
aggression. Therefore the explanation cannot account for all types of aggression.

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