Media Psychology

  • Created by: nickeeta
  • Created on: 16-03-15 20:38

Anti-social Behaviour AO1

Huesmann and Moise suggest 5 ways that exposure to media violence might lead to aggression in children.

  • Observational learning and imitation: children more likely to imitate behaviours if they admire and/or identify with the model. Kids expected to imitate violent behaviour if it helps the model achieve their objectives. Kids are more likely to imitate behaviour if they percieve the scene to be real and the model to be like them. Philips American daily homicide rates increase straight after important boxing matches but not after the SuperBowl.
  • Cognitive priming: viewer is primed to act aggressively because a network of memories involving aggression is retrieved. Frequent exposure to violent scenes may cause children to store scripts of these scenes which may be recalled in a later situation if it is in anyway similar to the originial.
  • Desensitisation: usually anxiety about violence inhibits it's use. Media violence may desensitise children to the use of violence making it more likely for them to act aggressively because they have no anxiety about it.
  • Lowered physiological arousal: Giles found stronger desensitisation effects for males than for females. Huesmann and Moise boys whoare heavy television watchers show lower than average physiological arousal in new scenes of violence. Initially unpleasant, the response declines after repeat exposure.
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Anti-social Behaviour AO1

Justification: ability to judge issues involving harm to others is primarily aquired through social transmittion including exposure to moral messages on TV. Justification of violence on TV is one way kids can infer standards of acceptable behaviour. Aggressive kids may also watch aggressive TV to relieve their guilt and justify their actions. If violence is justified or left unpunished on TV the viewers guilt or concern may also be reduced. Aggressive media may also suggest that problems can be solved through aggressive behaviour.

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Anti-social Behaviour AO2

Observational learning: Bandura.  Outside of Bandura there isn't much evidence aside from anecdotal claims, e.g. James Bulger's killers were said to be copying Child's Play but Cumberbatch reports no link was ever found.

Cognitive priming: Josephson hoeckey players shown an aggressive video or non aggressive video including a walkie talkie. Those who had seen the violent video acted more agressively (their ref was holding a walkie talkie which presumably worked as a trigger).

Desensitisation: Cumberbatch claims screen violence is different to real world violence and getting used to screen violence doesn't make you used to violence in real world settings.

Lowered physiological arousal: watching violence may actually increase physiological response. Zillmann excitation-transfer model suggests increased arousal leads to a readiness to agressif there are appropraite circumstances. Feshbach and Singer suggests watching violent media is cathartic.

Justification: many TV shows mix prosocial and antisocial behaviours, e.g. The A Team with good guys acting violently. Liss and Reinhardt suggest that the negative effects of such programmes is they support justification.  Prosocial characters using violence lends an aura of moral justification.

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Anti-social Behaviour AO2

The effects of the media on antisocial behaviour is very unpredictable. Belson found boys who watched least television when they were younger were least aggressive in adolescence. However, boys who watched most television were about 50% less aggressive than than boys who watched moderate amounts.

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Positive Effects of Video Games

  • Shotton - 127 people (50% kids) who were 'addicted' to PC games for at least 5 years. Compared with a control group of non-addicts, addicts were highly intelligent, motivated and high achieving people. 5 year longitudinal study of addicts found a proportionally high nuumber had done well educationally, gone on to uni and secured high ranking jobs.
  • Kestenbaum Weinstein - adolescent male pps into heavy computer game use. PC games had a calming effect. They can help manage conflict and discharge aggression by allowing the open expression of competition.
  • Greitmeyer and Oswald - Tested helping behaviours after 15 mins of playing antisocial, prosocial, or neutral games. Prosocial games induced helping behaviours.
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Elaboration-Likelihood Model A01

Petty and Cacioppo suggest two different routes to persuasive communication depending on whether the audience is likely to focus on the message itself or on other factors such as how attractive or credible the source appears to be. If a person is likely to focus on the arguments, then a central route to persuasion is more appropriate. If a person is likely to focus on the context of the message, then a peripheral route is more likely to be effective.

  • Central route: taken when audience is likely to pay attention to the strength of arguments presented. Cacioppo and Petty suggested that some people enjoy analysing arguments (high need for cognition) and are more likely to focus on the quality of an argument. Attitudes changed in this way are more lasting and less susceptible to later change.
  • Peripheral route: Fiske and Taylor suggested most human beings are cognitive misers who rely on simple and quick strategies when evaluating info and making decisions. Processing through this route, people are more likely to be influenced by contextual cues such as celebrity endorsement. Messages processed in this way tend to be less personally important and attutiude change is more ephemeral.
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Elaboration-Likelihood Model AO2

Need for cognition: Haugtvedt provided support for the claim that the central route is more effective for high NC indies. Found attitude change in high NC individuals was based more on an evaluation of product attributes than was in the case in low NC indies. For low NC indies, simple peripheral cues were more important in shaping attitudes.

Real-life application: Vidrine - students exposed to a fact-based (central route) or emotion-based (peripheral route) smoking risk campaign. Those with higher NC were more influenced by the fact-based message, whereas participants with low NC wer more influenced by the emotion based message.

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