explanations of the influence of media on antisocial behaviour- social learniing theory

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Media psychology
Explanations of media influences on antisocial behaviour- social learning theory
AO1 (describe)
This theory states that a child will be influenced by the media when they observe
a role model being violent and then will develop a mental representation that
violence is a good thing and will observe that the role model gets vicarious
reinforcement in the form of a reward such as laughter, this encourages the child
to copy the role models behaviour which gives the child direct experience of the
behaviour, this also gives the child experience of the reward which the child likes
and this acts as positive reinforcement. This overtime leads to self efficacy
meaning the child will copy the behaviour more frequently and will become better
at doing that behaviour, leading to the child's behaviour becoming increasingly
violent and antisocial.
AO2 (evaluate)
there is evidence to support social learning theory: Albert Bandura
showed children videos of adults being aggressive towards an inflatable
bobo doll. After the children were frustrated by having their toys taken
away, they were then introduced to the doll and 88% of them copied the
role models behaviour and attacked the doll. This study could be applied to
real life as it is similar to children watching TV shows as it used videos.
However we don't know if the violent behaviour is due to the children being
made angry by having their toys taken away or if it was due to watching the
role models behaviour in the videos.
it can explain individual difference and cultural differences as more
aggressive individuals will have been exposed to aggressive role models when
they were younger, for example there is very little violence in the Kung San
tribe in the Kalahari desert because there are no aggressive role models for
the children to copy.
/ Deterministic as social learning theory suggests that we don't choose
what to copy but we just copy everything we see, this isn't true in reality.
It can be good to be deterministic as there is a clear cause of violent
behaviour, so it is easy to solve as you just remove the cause of the violent
behaviour. However, being deterministic can be bad as it doesn't allow for
free will which does influence our decisions to imitate role models.
Reductionist: social learning theory ignores other factors such as
freewill, hormonal levels and genetic influences and therefore on its own we
get a limited understanding on how media can influence aggressive
behaviour. For example, Michael Ryan shot 14 people including himself, and
it was thought it was because he had just watched a violent film. However, it
may have been because he was schizophrenic.


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