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Pro-Social Behaviour

Social Learning Theory

Perceives learning via the media as occuring by indirect reinforcement.

Bandura: Outlined the four models

Attention: attention is paid towards attractive, high status models

Retention: behaviours are memorised

Reproduction: imitation occurs when/if the person has the skills to reproduct observed behaviours

Motivation: direct and indirect reinforcemetns as well as punishments, influence the motivation to imitate

Certain skills are needed to be able to imitate behaviours but a good level of self efficacy is needed. Also if individualys empathise for a character they are more likely to imiatate their behaviour

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Pro-Social Behaviour

Social Learning Theory - A02/A03


Rushton: Children developed behaviours on TV but the behaviours only lasted two weeks

Sprafkin: Children copied pro-social behaviour seen in Lassie even if it meant losing a competition

Hearold: Power of pro-social learning is stronger than anit-social using the social learning theory


Park and Comstock: TV violence on anit social behaviour was replicated if rewarded

Leyens: Increased aggresion when half the condition watch violent films 

Bandura:Children learn agression through watching media portrayals but reinforcement is essential for immitation

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Pro-Social Behaviour

Cognitive Priming

Agressive ideas or cues presented in the media are seen as impacting both pro-social and anti-social behaviour, with people memorising violence and pro-social acts expereicned in the media, creating scripts.

Therefore viewing anti-social/pro-social media increases the chance of an individual acting that way if they find themselves in similar situations

Similar to SLT, the behaviours is not an exact replication however the indivdual are inspired through observing the behaviours.

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Pro-Social Behaviour

Cognitive Priming - A02/A03


Holloway: A pro-social effect of the cognitive priming of good news made people more cooperative 

Blackman + Hornstern: Related pro-social concepts in memore were primed by the original bulletin


Murray: FMRI brain scans of children watching violent and non violent films. Those watching violent lit up, suggesting storeage of behaviours

Josephson: Watch TV shows that included walkie-talkies then given instructions via walkie-talkies, this action became aggressive.

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Pro-Social Behaviour


Reduction or elimination of cognitive, emotional and behavioural responses to stimulus; suggesting repeated exposure to violence in the media reduces the impact.

Over exposure to pro-social behaviour in the media similarly reduces it's impact subsequently people become 'numb' to pro-social behaviour

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Pro-Social Behaviour

Desensitisation - A02/A03


Belson: 1500 teenage boys finding no evidence between watching TV and becoming violent as well as reduced respect for others


Drabman + Thomas: children viewing violent films has a decreased emotional response

Bushman: Participants playing video games didnt respond as quickly to a staged fight

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Anti-Social Behaviour

Social Learning Theory

Children observes the action in the media and later imitate them. The mire real the children believe the TV shows the more they look up to the characters and therefore acting more like them

Phillips: examined crime stats for 10 dyas following a heavyweight boxing match and saw an increase in murders

Social Learning Theory - A02/A03

Bandura's research supports the view that children learn specifc acts of agression and increased aggressivesness through imitating the media

There are moderate levels of agression when the character is a cartoon

Two boys that kills James Bulgar claimed to be copying 'Childs Play' yet no link has been made

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Anti-Social Behaviour

Cognitive Priming

Referring to the activation of existing thought and feelins explaining why children watch on types of aggression but display another. Watch a violent programme retrieves memorised cues making the viewer primed to act agressively. Children may create scripts of agression and use them when in a similar situation.

Cognitive Priming - A02/A03

Referring to Josephson, boy behaved most aggressively if they had seen a violent flim inlcuded walkie-talkies and the ref in a hockey match used a walkie-talkie to communicate (these were the cur to agression.)

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Anti-Social Behaviour


Medai violence may stimulate aggressive behaviour by desensiting children to the effects of crime. More violent television shows a child watchs the more acceptable the behaviours become. Frequent viewings of violece decreased the effect violence has on a person. 

Desensitisation - A02/A03

Cumberbatch: people get used to screen violence but this does not mean the person will get used to violence in real life. Cliams media violence will make a child frightened but its not frightening.

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Video Games

Negative Effects

Experimental Studies: Lab experiments have found short term increases in levels of psychological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviours following violent game play compared to non-violent gamrs play (Gentile and Stone)

Participants blasted opponents with white noise and rated higher in hostility are playing a violent game compared to those who played a slow-pace puzzle game (Anderson and Dill)

Longitudinal: 450 children (7-9) at two point in the school year. High exposure to violent games were more verbally and physically aggressive (Anderson et al)

Meta Analysis: Consistent link between violent games played and agressive behaviour for adults and children (Gentile and Anderson)

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Video Games

Positive Effects

Pro-Social Behvaiour: Playing pro-social games 'Lemmings' showed more pro-social behaviour than those who played aggressive or neutral games (Greitemeyer and Ossward)

Soical Commitment: Participants whose faviourite game was sims said that they learn about problems in society and explore social issues (Kahn)

Found 64% of those who played multiplayer games were more liekly to be more involved in civil participation 


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Video Games

Negative Effects - A02/A03

A major weakness of the lab experiments in this topic area in that researchers cannot measure 'real life' aggression, and can only measurethe short term effects.

Longitudinal studies are able to observe real life patterns of the behaviour and document both short term and long term effects. However a problem with longitudinal studies is that participants can be exposed to other forms of media violence during the course of the study, meaning that the effect fro violent video game exposure alone is uncertain. (Participant could become exposed to tv violence and this would become an extrenuous variable.)

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Negative Effects

Facebook friends and stress: A significant number of the participant sample (12% of 200) experienced anixety linked to their use of the social networking site. The majority who reported anixety had significantly more friends than other Facebook users. Stress reported from deleting unwanted contacts and the constant pressure of funny or entertaining. Of the students surveyed 32% stated that rejecting friend requests made them feel guilty and uncomfortable and 10% reported that they disliked receiving friend requests. (Charles)

Negative Effects - A02/A03

The case study of an 18 year old showed indication that social networking sites such as facebook could be signifacant source of psychological stress and this therefore supports the view that social networking sites are a source of stress to some degree.

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Positive Effects

Facebook walls can have a positive influence on our self-esteem because feedback posted on them by others tends to be overwhelmingly positive.

In a study, those who interacted with Facebook subsequently gave much more positive feedback about themselves athan the other people who looked in a mirror or did nothing.

Positive Effects - A02/A03

One explanation for the relationship between, Facebook use and positive self-esteem comes from the hyperpersonal model. This claims that self-selection of the information we choose to represent ourselves can have a positive influence on self-esteem.

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Hovland-Yale Model

Hovland-Yale Model; found effective persuation could be achieved by focusing on who (communicator) say what (persuasive message) to whom (audience) and how (channel.) The three main factors are: source, message and audience.


Social psychology research has shown that attractive communicators are more persuasive then less attractive commications. Also experts who are more credible are more effective than non-experts. Psychologists examied peer's attitude towards an unfamiliar alltistic child. Children receieved information about the child from different sources, the favourable attitude to autistic children when information was provided was through an expert. 

A study that goes against found that celebrity endorsments were not regarded as overly convincing or believeable. Credibility and expertise being two source charateristics with the greatest influence.


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Hovland-Yale Model


Messages are more effective if we think htey are not intended to persuade. A message can be more effective if it creates a moderate level of fear. A study includes participants viewing two drink driving advertisments and completed questionnaires. First assessed pre-exposure attitude and behaviour and immediate post-exposure attitude and intentions. Second (2-4 weeks later) assessed attitude and behaviour. Fear arousing messages were most effective after immediate exposure but long term attitude change was ,ore likely with humorous campiagns.

Message - A02/A03

Ethical Issues: Protection from harm as showing drink driveing advertisments could cause some distress to some participants, as someone close to them could have died in an accident relating to drink driving.

Self-Report Methods: Using questionnaires can be unreliable as people may lie. The social desirability bias means that participants may provide answers that they think the psyhologist is looking for.

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Hovland-Yale Model


Low and high intelligence audiences are less easily persuaded than those with moderate intelligence. Presenting both sides of the argument is most effective.

Younger audiences are more supceptible to persuasive messages than adults or elderly. Research found that while older children have a good understanding of persuasive intent of advertisment, younger did not 

Woman are socialised to conform and therefore are more open to social influence.

Audience - A02/A03

Cultural Bias: The audience can also differ how persuasive an argument can be, Research found that Americans prefer 'separateness' whereas Chinese prefer 'together.' This suggests that different cultures would be more influence by messgaes which are related to their opinion/be

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Elaboration Likelihood Model

Central Route: The message is the most important aspect of the advertisment

  • Message is most important
  • Audeince is motivated to think carefully about the message
  • Important for persuation
  • Long lasting attitude change

Peripheral Route: The surroundings of the message is more important.

  • Message is not important
  • Audience not deeply affected by the message
  • Persuaded by the attractiveness of the celebrity 
  • Short term attitude change

Need for Cognition = Some people have a stronger need to know than others and like to understand both sides of the argument.

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Persuasiveness of TV Adverts

Explanation for the Persuasiveness of TV Advertising

Hard Sell = Central Route

Soft Sell = Peripheral Route

The reason for persuasiveness depends on the individual, if a person wants to confrom the advertisment type would be SOFT SELL, people that dont care normally prefer HARD SELL.

Hard sell in more believeable but soft sell  are associated with positive emotions towards the product. Hard sell are more irritating and not likley to persuade the audience.

Music in adverts creates an emotion towards the advert. 

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Persuasiveness of TV Adverts

Product Endorsment 

20% fo advertiser ise celebrities to influence buyer

Due to being a familiar face and making it more relateable  however the advertisment is not overly convincing, depending on who the celebrity is.

Students are more likely to buy a product if its a fictional character then a celebrity.

5000 TV adverts including celebrities, did not increase persuasive communications

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Sex, Violence and Persuasiveness

18-34 year olds have more disposable income and therefore tailor adverts to programmes of this age group creating more opportunity.

Bushman suggests that advertisng in sexual violent programming impair memory for the advert shown - sexual adverts do appeal to younger audeince but they dotn remember the brand.

Pester Power

Advertising to young children will increase chance of pestering. Relationship between tv adverts and amount of advertised items on childrens christmas lists (strong positive correlation)

Research Evaluation

Cant measure persuasion and it is hard to measure attitude change

Self report methods can be unreliable due to social desirability bias.

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The Attraction of Celebrity

Social Explanations

Parasocial Relationships: one individual is attracted to another but the target individual does not know the person who has created the reelationship exists. 

Less demands and loneliness: relations has few demands and there is no risk of criticism or rejection. Found modest support for htose most attracted to celebrity being lonely and shy

Lonely viewer were the most upset by the last episode of Friends

Age: younger people more likely to be attrcated to celebrities. 11-16 year olds were most attracted to celebrities

Attachment Types: adolescents with resistent attachments aremore likely to form parasocial relationships and insecure avoident attachment were least likley.

Securlely attached had satisfying real life situations. Avoidently attached do not seek emotional commitment. Resistant need emotional relationships without the fear of rejection 

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The Attraction of Celebrity

Absorption Addiction Model

People admire celebrities becsue they are entertainign and a way to form social relationships with others, can lead to addictive behaviours.

Entertainment Social (Extrovert): Fans are attached to  a favourite celebrity because their preceived ability to entertain and to become a source of soical interation and gossip - passive parasocial relationships

Intense Personality (Neurotic): This aspect of celebrity worship reflects intensive and compulsive feelings about the celebrity, akin to the obession tendencies of fans are often referred to in the literature

Borderline Pathological (Psychotism): This dimension is typified by uncontrollable behaviours and fantasies about their celebrities - believes the relationship is real

Poor mental health and personalities were linked.

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Social Psychological Explanations

Evaluation of Social Psychological Explanations

Predicts whether an individual will act a certain way towards celebrities - predict validity more likely to be someone who is shy/introvert.

Parasocial behvaiours can be beneficial, can provide models of soicla behaviours and learn culture values - fullfil a social need.

Not always linked to loneliness and are not all negative relationships, meta analysis found that loneliness was not a factor - lack validity and reliability 

Socially active and motivated people are more likely to form parasocial relationships

Age is not a factor

Oversimplified explanations - no single behaviour/ personality link to celebrities

Variations on attachment styles across relationships

Self report meseaure

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The Attraction of Celebrity

Evolutionary Explanations 

Attraction to Creative Individuals: Human being possess a love of novelty (known as neophilia - a tendancy to like anything new.) For females choosing a mate, this would have led to a demand for ever-more creative displays from potential partners. Mate choice in the environment of evolutionary adaptation could well have favoured creative courtship displays, which would explain many of the characteristics that are universally and uniquely developed in humans, such as music art and humour. Although natural selection favours the development of skills that enhance survival, sexual selection might favour minds prone to creativity and fantasy, Celebrities represent this world of fantasy so we are attracted to them.

Celebrity Gossip: The exchange of social information about other group members might have been adaptive for our ancestors when they started living in larger social groups This exchange of information is now what we refer to as 'gossip'. Gossiping creates bonds within social groups and serves a similar adaptive function to social grooming. However we not only talk about people we encounter in real-life, but also gossip about individuals we encounter through media. Our minds are fooled into thinking that media characters are apart of our social network, thus celebrities trigger the same gossip mechanisms.

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Evaluation of Evolutionary Explanations

Researchers found an enzyme correlated with novelty seeking tendencies. Genetic difference mean that people produce different variations of MAOA. The researchers found that one form of this enzyme was significantly associated with higher scores of novelty thinking, suggesting that there may be a genetic origin for neophilia.

Saying that love of novelty and attraction to celebrity arose because females prefer creative individuals does not tell us why they would prefer it. Does not provide an adequate adaptive reason to explain why traits such as creativity in music...would be attractive to ancestral members. 

Gossip is seen as a useful way of acquiring information anout social group members. Media exposure was also found to be a strong predictor of interest in celebrities. 

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Intense Fandom and Stalking

Celebrity Attitude Scale: is a self report method, this could lead to social desirability bias, demand characteristics and limited response. 

Celebrity Stalking

Willful, malisous following of another person that threatens his or her safety. Majority of cases started out with prior contact between stalker and victim.

Attachment: investigated attachment style of stalkers detained under the mental health act. They had significantly more evidence of insecure attachement than a controlled group. Adult attachment bases on internel working model of self and others, e.g. pre occupied has been linked to stalking (poor self image and confidence)

Attachment - A02/A03

Used self report measures on mentally unstable people, this will impact the reliabiliity and validity. Attachment type can change over year and it is retrospective research. Childhood internal working model impacted attachment in later life. Provides certain behaviours so officials can predict future stalkers.

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Intense Fandom and Stalking

Poor Mental Health: idol worship was linked to low self esteem and weak idenity also a link between intense personal and poor mental health (high depression and anxiety scores)

Poor Mental Health - A02/A03

Correlational study, does not show the cause and effect of the two variable and the method used to measure is self report methods.

Failed Relationships: study found that stalkers often have a history of failed sexual relationships, reaction to loneliness and isolation. 

Failed Relationships - A02/A03

Not specific to celebrity stalking, may explain private but not necessary celebrity stalking.

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