Anti-social behaviour (Studies)

Media influences

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  • Created by: Marie
  • Created on: 25-05-09 14:42

As well as individual studies of anti-social effects, meta-analyses (e.g. PAIK and COMSTOCK, 1994) offer a more global view of research in this area.


A01: Researchers evaluated 10,000 hours of TV, and found the highest proportion of violence in children's programmes, which also showed fewest long-term negative consequences of violence

A02: The anti-effects lobby

  • BELSON (1978) found that boys who watched the most violent television were half as aggressive as those who watched moderate amounts (suggesting that the relationship is unpredictable)
  • HAGELL and NEWBORN (1994) found that violent teenage offenders watched less TV than non-offenders.
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  • The researchers examined 217 studies and found a highly significant relationship between television violence and aggressive behaviour, which was slightly higher in males.
  • The size of the relationship depended on the age of the participant and the genre of programming

A02: Limitation:

Many of the earlier studies were laboratory-based, i.e. not typical of a child's normal television experience.

A02: However:

In response to claims that correlations were quite small, BUSHMAN and ANDERSON (2001) point out that they were second only to the relationship between smoking and lung cancer.

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Study 3: ST HELENA (CHARLTON et al., 2000)

  • A01: The vast majority of measures used to assess pro and anti-social behaviour showed no difference in either after introduction of television.
  • A02: However... other natural experiments have found a difference after the introduction of TV (e.g. WILLIAMS, 1986)
  • A01: The high levels of good behaviour noted before TV's arrival continued despite the same level of violence in films as that shown in the US.
  • A02: This can be explained by... CHARLTON who suggests that a strong community identity removed the need to be aggressive in St. Helena.
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  • DILL and DILL (1988) - A recent review of research evidence in this area concluded that exposure to video game violence increases aggressive behaviour.
  • ANDERSON and BUSHMAN (2001) - A meta-analysis of 33 studies found a small but significant correlation between exposure to violence during game play and subsequent aggressive behaviour.

A02: Limitations

  • Most studies in this area have been correlational, and do not indicate a causal relationship between playing violent games and violent behaviour.
  • Studies rarely distinguish between aggressive behaviour and aggressive play, which may lead to faulty conclusions.
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