PSYA4 Media

Full notes on the Media unit

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  • Created on: 29-04-14 16:54
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Media influence- the effects of formats of public communication on pro- and anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour- actions that go against the basic principles of society
Pro-social behaviour- actions intended to benefit others
Bandura argued that both Aggressive ideas or `cues' An alternative explanation for the
pro-/anti-social behaviour could presented in the media are seen link between viewing pro- and
be learned through the as affecting both pro- and anti-social behaviour and repeating
mechanism of watching and anti-social behaviour. With it lies in the effect of viewing on
coping the actions of role people memorising violent and our sensitivity to the suffering of
models pro-social acts experienced in others.
If a role model behaves the media as scripts for later Repeated exposure to violence
aggressively or helpfully and behaviour leaves us less sensitive to the state
receive a reward for their Being in comparable scenarios of the victims
action, the child is likely to copy `triggers' these scripts into However it has also been
the behaviour in order to action, activating similar suggested that exposure to
receive similar reward (vicarious thoughts sharing memory pro-social behaviour towards
learning) pathways people who are suffering has the
If the child repeats the reverse effect- to make us more
behaviour and receives a sensitive to human suffering
reward, this is learning though
direct experiences (operant
Sprafkin'75 studied 6 year olds. Moriarty and McCabe'77 found Wilson'08 suggests that the
Some of the children watched an that children exposed to media development of empathy is a
episode of Lassie, in which a boy models of sportspeople fundamental part of a child's
risked his life to rescue from a behaving pro-socially performed social-emotional development and
mine shaft. Other groups of more pro-social acts than those that children have numerous
children saw a different episode who were not. There were opportunities for such learning in
with no helping action or an pro-social acts different from media viewing (Smith et al'06)
episode of the Brady Bunch. those exhibited by the Mullin and Linz'95 questioned
After watching the programme, sportspeople, suggesting that adult males about their response to
all the children had the chance to the media models acted as sexual and domestic violence, and
help some puppies. However, to cognitive primers for then showed them violent
do so they had to stop playing participant's behaviour pornography. Three days later their
the game in which they may Josephson'87 found that boys attitudes were assessed again and
have won a prize. Rescue who watched a violent they showed significantly less
videos-90+ seconds, non-rescue programme involving empathy with female victims.
to less than 50 seconds communicating via However two days later their
Huessman'03- longitudinal walkie-talkies, and subsequently attitudes had returned to the same
study 758 American and 220 received instructions by level as the start of the study.
Finnish children- interviewed+ walkie-talkies when playing ice Studies like this suggest that
tested for 3 years annually with hockey were more aggressive desensitisation does occur but
questionnaire used to than those who watched a leave it unclear whether it can have
determine aggression. Found non-violent film, suggesting that long term effects
boys were more aggressive walkie-talkies acted as cues to ethical issues- debriefing
than girls and watched more TV cognitively prime aggression participants to avoid
violence- TV violence (amount desensitisation induced violence
and degree) correlates towards women.

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Evaluation of explanations of Media influence on pro- and anti-social behaviour
Due to a higher density of research conducted on anti-social behaviour a stereotypical view
of TV being a force for anti-social behaviour has arisen.…read more

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Grusser et al'07 surveyed 7000 gamers, finding that 12 percent were addicted according to World
Health Organisation criteria.…read more

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Differences in research findings concerning the effects of computers on communication and
negotiation may be due to differences in the types of CMCs used- for example email and
instant messaging. Zhou et al'01 found significant cues in CMCs indicating the use of
deception, and believe that these could be incorporated into an automated tool that would
detect deception and protect young people from negative intentions.…read more

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Persuasion via CR is problematic- conflicting
demands- cannot fully engage- peripheral route is
better for selling products
Explanations for the persuasiveness of television advertising
The aim of advertisers is to manipulate consumers' attitudes and to influence their behaviour. There
are several main explanations:
Hypodermic effect- This explanation sees television advertising as a powerful medium that
injects its message into a precisely targeted audience, incurring subsequent effects. It
suggests that the makers of television advertisements can make their audiences do
whatever they wish.…read more

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The psychology of celebrity
Celebrity- a person who is `famous for being famous' and contributes little long standing worth to
Parasocial relationships- a one-sided relationship, usually formed with celebrities
Factors affecting Parasocial relationships
Personality factors may contribute to an attraction to celebrities, with certain personalities having a
greater need for fame and thus a greater need to be associated with those already renowned
Young adults are more likely to engage in parasocial relationships which could be because young
people are less likely…read more

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Studies into personality type and attraction may lack credibility- rely on retrospective data
(lacks scientific rigour)
Cultural issues- most of the studies are derived from Western cultures- biased and
Social psychological explanations ignore the important role of biological factors in
determining attraction to celebrity (Evolutionary theory) and a combination of both types of
explanations may lead to a better understanding of the phenomenon e.g.…read more

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- Celebrity journalism often focuses on attractiveness, romantic liaisons and reproductive success,
supporting the idea that attraction to celebrity has an evolutionary basis
-Evolutionary theory is accused of being reductionist, as it reduces behaviour to the single
explanation of adaptive fitness, thus ignoring other explanations. It is also accused of being
deterministic in seeing behaviour as driven by biological factors, with no input for free will
Intense fandom
Intense fandom is an obsessive behaviour directed towards celebrities.…read more

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Fujii et al looked at the characteristics of people suffering from erotomania (delusions) and found
that they had various cognitive deficits and lacked the flexibility in their thinking
Para-social bereavement
Giles (2003) has identified a phenomenon called para-social bereavement. This is the grief shown by
some people when a celebrity dies. Giles and Naylor (2003) found that tributes left to Princess Diana
and Jill Dando frequently made reference to how people had come to `know' them, even though
they had never met.…read more

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Celebrity stalking constitutes only about 1% of the total stalking cases but because of their high
profile media coverage we perceive them to be more common. One well-known victim of stalking
was Madonna, whose stalker, Robert Hoskins, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stalking and
terrorising her.…read more


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