Positive effects of the media and explanations of media influences on prosocial behaviour social learning theory

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Media psychology
Positive effects of the media and explanations of media influences on prosocial
behaviour- social learning theory
Positive effects of the media
A study in St. Helena occurred, comparing 50 children's behaviour before
the island got TV and after the island got TV in 1995. It showed that 5
children showed increases in prosocial behaviour; boys displayed less
hitting and pushing after TV was introduced and both boys and girls showed
significant increases in prosocial behaviour. This suggests that the effects
of TV could be positive on children's behaviour.
Explanations of media influences on prosocial behaviour- social learning theory
AO 1 (describe)
A child will observe the role models behaviour and form a mental representation
that the role models behaviour is good. The child will see that the role model gets
vicarious reinforcement through recieving a reward. This will then encourage the
child to experience it for themselves so the child gets direct experience and is
encouraged to repeat this as they experience the reward which is the positive
reinforcement, themselves. They then experience self efficacy as they are more
likely to repeat the behaviour.
AO2 (evaluate)
Poulos showed that young children who watched a episode of Lassie, where
a child rescued a dog, were more likely to help puppies in distress, than
children who watched a neutral TV programme. This showed that children
are more likely to help when they see prosocial behaviour or in other words,
children can imitate prosocial messages on TV. / However, prosocial
behaviour needed to be explicitly modelled which suggests that prosocial
messages are harder to imitate than antisocial, messages. Additionally the
behaviour seemed to only be short term so the prosocial effects won't be
long lasting.
Johnston and Ettema studied several thousand 9 to 12 year olds. The
children watched the TV series freestyle (a programme designed to reduce
the sex role stereo types) once a week for 13 weeks. They found that the
children became less stereotyped or prejudiced in their attitudes or
beliefs. However, this effect was increased when the program was watched
in the classroom and accompanied by a teacher led discussion and activities
designed to expand on the issues shown in the TV programmes. This suggests
that other factors influence learning as well as observing role models.

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