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MEDIA INFLUENCES ON · Explanations of media influences on pro- and anti-social
(slides 3-19) ·The positive and negative effects of computers and video games on
MEDIA AND ·The application of Hovland-Yale and Elaboration Likelihood
PERSUASION models in explaining the persuasive effects of media
(slides 20-35) ·Explanations of the persuasiveness of TV advertising
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ·The attraction of `celebrity', including social psychological and
`CELEBRITY' evolutionary explanations
(slides 36-55) ·Research into intense fandom, including, celebrity worship and
celebrity stalking…read more

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Explanations of Media Influences on
Pro Social Behaviour...
Children learn emotions/empathy by watching programmes containing pro social
messages. Often, programmes have a moral story. Pro social acts are often rewarded.
Greenberg (1980) found an equivalent number of pro social and antisocial acts in any in
any hour of TV (US).
SPRAFKIN ET AL (1975) MARES (1966)
For many children the effect of TV viewing is mediated by the presence of a parent. Mediation
the parent discussing the programme with the child, explaining ambiguous material and
following up concepts presented in the programme. Through parental mediation, children are
able to understand complex moral messages.
FOGEL (2007)
Children learn by observation then imitation and they are more likely to imitate if they know
there are rewards attached to it as opposed to punishments.

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Aimed to investigate whether watching a film showing pro social behaviour
makes behaving in the same way likely.
Children aged between 5-6 years old watched one of three films:
1. Group A saw an episode of Lassie in which a boy risks his life saving a
puppy from down a well
2. Group B saw an episode of Lassie which carried a positive message about
dogs but no incident of a human helping a dog
3. Group C saw an episode of the Brady Bunch (an American sitcom)
After watching the programme the children engaged in a button pressing
game where they could win prizes and whilst playing they could hear
sounds through headphones (supposedly) from a nearby kennel. If they
heard a dog in distress they were asked to press a separate button which
gave help to the dog but terminated the game (meaning no prize).
Over 90% of the children in Group A responded to the distressed dog,
significantly higher than the other 2 groups. This suggests a child's
willingness to help can be increased by observing it on TV.
EVALUATION: independent measures, only short term effects, very
specific (can't generalise), family life (pp variables- may have a dog/dislike
dogs), other influences on TV...…read more

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MARES (1966)
Carried out a meta-analysis and included 4 categories of pro social
behaviour spread over 39 studies:
1. Positive interaction- friendly, non-aggressive interactions
2. Altruism-sharing, donating, offering help
3. Self-control- resisting temptation/obeying rules
4. Anti-stereotyping- counter stereotypical portrayals of gender/ethnicity
Findings show that children who viewed models displaying all of these
things via film modelled the specific behaviours more so in their own
behaviours than those who didn't.
HOWEVER many studies have found that the pro social effects were limited
to those situations which were similar to the pro social act seen in the TV
programme. Also, more positive effects were found for girls and also
primary age children as opposed to adolescence.…read more

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FOGEL (2007)
Aimed to examine the effect of watching pro social sitcoms on children aged 8-12
years. Children living in California were asked to complete a questionnaire about
their current TV viewing habits. They were then allocated randomly to one of two
1. The experimental group watched a 30 minute episode of Hang Time and then took
part in a 15 minute discussion about it with an adult
2. The control group watched the same episode but did not discuss it
A further questionnaire was asked at the end of the study which, in part assessed
various attitudes and opinions held by the children.
The group who benefitted from adult mediation scored significantly higher than the
control group on the questions relating to tolerance, friendship and positive
High external validity- happened at their own home
Questionnaire? Short term effects? Other factors?
HOWEVER, Valkenburg et al (1999) suggest that only some forms of parental
mediation would be effective in enhancing the pro social messages in TV
programmes. `Social co-viewing' does not have the same effect as `instructive
mediation' which involves discussions and explanations.…read more

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