Media Psychology

  • Created by: LaraPope
  • Created on: 10-06-15 17:10

Media influences on pro-social behaviour

SLT= Banduraobserve and immitate behaviour due to vicarious reinforcement through seein rewards then scripted into a mental representation to produce that behaviour when in a similar situation.

  • same amount of psb and asb in episodes collected from content analysis but harder to notice 
  • Sprafkin: Lassie study- 3 groups,1- puppy rescue scene, 2- no rescue, 3- diff episode. played a game with prizes and encountered distressed puppies 1= more time calming even at loss of prize. shows support for SLT but- lab, demand characteristics, individual diff (dog preferences) short term.

Parental mediation: active watchnig with child, translates/ explains moral messages 

  • Fogel: Hang time study. Q on viewing habits assigned to group 1- 30 min ep and 30 min discussion 2- 30 min ep but no discussion. Supported parental mediation as understood message and gain most from ep. but needs to be 'instructive mediatio' not 'social co-viewing' need to have active discussion

Content analysis: flawed method of analysing pro-social acts= correlational, short term effects, lab, reductionist (determining behaviour is far more complex)

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Media influences on anti-social behaviour

SLT: Bandura 2 conditions 1) control group 2) film of adult A towards doll. found 2) imitated observed behaviour used film as a model to create mental representations from the vicarious reinforcement to produce the same behaviour but artifical/ trivial, no meaning to task so lacks eco valid, short term effects, unethical- exposure with known reproduction.

Cognitive priming:  frequent exposure you store scripts and create schemas to network memories recieved in future situations- so are primed to respond aggressively.

  • Huesman: longitudinal, children= name programmes and identify if violence was real- parents also assessed on viewing habits. 20's reassesed by spouse/ friend intervewed about ppts aggression and looked at criminal records= sig pos correlation watching V tv as a child will effect future A. More tv= more scripts more priming to act A due to stronger network of memories. but lots of drop outs not direct proportions, reductionist (other factors  biology), chicago urban not pop valid. 

Desensitisation reeated exposure= reduced arousal. Sensitised= seen as norm so more likely to do it as more acceptable. 

  • violent video clips= less likely to get help when seeing children fighting= increased tolerance of V but cannot generalise, short term, lacks mundane realise= clips are trivial
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Negative effects of video games (computers)

Anderson et al longitudinal. high exposure to VVG = less PSB and more verbally and physically A.

  • Meta analysis found more violent now  but Anderson= longitudinal but cannot control other factors (tv watching - cause and effect= correlational)

Weber et al brain activity FMRI scans. Male ppts play VVG= increase activity in amygadala linked to A) and decrease in prefrontal lobe activity linked to self control. It is unbiased and objective but short term effects only. 

Carnagey et al VG and real life violence 2 conditions based on normal habits watching 20 mins of either V or NVG and physiological responses measured when watching film of real life V. VG= desensitised but film and short term.

Olson et al interviews= VVG releases pent up A decreasing real world A but due justification could be social desireability bias.

Evaluation: Lab- not real life, Short term- not clear rel and changed behaviour, Longitudinal- other exposure such as TV. No reliable causal link- Gentile bi directional model= More A traits will pick A games for recreational purposes could be that VVG= V traits.

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Positive effects of video games (computers)

Osswald et al PSG=PSB played one of 3 games for 8 min 1) Lemmings- PS 2) Tetris- neutral 3) Lamers- AS. Researcher then drops pencils 1) 67% 2) 33% 3) 28% but short term. 

  • Variations of study= supports PSB and G

Kahne sims PSB= increased learning of society and its problems, explore social issues. but correlations short term- cant really be generalised

  • also found regular participation in social interaction related to game e.g discussion boards = more committed civically and politically.

Evaluation:  Osswald found 85% PSG=V as video game industry says its not profitable to produce pure PSG- not fulfilling.
Real world applications- PTSD= found tetris minimises flashbacks as immerced in game it relieves the trauma. they compete with the same sensory channels that are needed to form the memory. 

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Effects of computers (Facebook)

Charles= interviews, more FB friends felt anxiety and pressure to entertain (humour). 32%- felt guilt rejecting FR and 10% dislike FR. FB= anxiety.

Pos: pos feedback on posts boost self esteem 
Cornwell Uni= 3 min spent either 1) on FB 2) looking in mirror 3) nothing. 1= more pos feedback about themselves.

case study found FB to be a sig source of stress after a break up and a triggering factor for depressed asthmatic individuals.- but only one person cannot generalise.

Hyperpersonal model: Walther suggested self selectinng info to represent ourselves has pos effects on SE. Computer mediated communication is invariably pos feedback gained to increase SE.

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Hovland-Yale model- persuasiveness of media.

Source- experts (more credible) popular and attractive (more effective)
Attention- think not intended to persuade= better. Moderate level of fear
Message- moderate intelligence easier to persuade


Source- celeb endorsement. 

  • Not believeable / convincing
  • Giles= neutral source and familiar face- Magic Johnson HIV pos and surge in pos attitudes to those with HIV
  • Martin- similar and knowledge were relateable / reccogniseable. (students)

Audience- gender bias.

  • Women are more suscepitble to persuasion. Socialised to conform. Open to social influence.

Fear- optimum level of fear

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Elaboration-likelihood model- Petty and Cacioppo

Central route: high involvement- lasting attitude change- elaboration and deep thoughts.
Peripheral  route: low involvement- rely on cues- temp attitude change- no elaboration.

Health campaigns- applying ELM Vidrine et al- need for cog (NC) relevant to health campaigns- real life. Students exposed to fact (central) or emotion route (peripheral). High NC- facts. Low NC- emotion


  • Peripheral route- cognitive misers. Time effective, busy working mums need shortcuts and cues.
  • P= temp Magic Johnson help in Aids campaign-helping an aids vicitm 0% uni students before- after 83% increase immdediately after, 4 mnths later a sig drop again. 
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Explanations of persuasiveness

Hard sell/ soft sell: dif effects on dif people

  • Ozaki meta analysis found hard= confrontational and detering. Soft= pos attituds to product.

Product endorsement: 

  • Giles celeb= neutral source and familiar face
  • celeb= not convincing or believable 
  • Martin similar age and interest= more relateable
  • Hume celeb endorsement= no sig impact

Children and advertising: 

  • pester power. stron pos correlation to Tv ads and christmas lists 
  • Pine and Nash parents mediate behaviour and peers shape behaviour through discussion suggesting no diect rel between ad ad consumer behaviour.
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The atraction of celebrity

Parasocial rel: attraction to someone who is unaware of their existence- no real demands and no risk of criticism or rejection.

  • Meta analysis form PSR to celebs who are similar/ attractive and compare behaviour in simillar situations.

Absorption addiction model: 

  • Giles and Maltby 1) entertainment social 2) intense personal 3) borderline pathological


  • Dysfnctional: formed on loneliness a meta analysis found loneliness wasnt a predictor for PSR they were actually socially activated and motivated.
  • Models of social behaviour:: provide an opp to learn cultural values (pos)
  • Absorption addiction model and mental health. Maltby used Eyesnck personality Q to asses level of celeb worship and personality- ES= extrovert IP= neuroticism (anxiety) found higher CW the poorer the mental health.
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Evolutionary Explanations

Neophillia: love of novelty and need for vreative displays in the EEA. Natural Selection- skills for survival Sexual selection- creativity and fantasy.

Celeb gossip: bigger groups. DeBacker= gossip creates bonds in social groups, initiates and maintains alliances, construct reputations of outgroups and triggers gossip mechanism to keep ingroup activity. Celebs= media shows how celebs are regarded as members of the social network


MAOA enzyme associated with neophillia. High- novelty seeking showing a genetic origin for neophillia.

No support for sexual selection= not adaptive you marry to reproduce for attractiveness not resources.

DeBacker understands social networking by gossip. media misconceievs idea that celbs are in social network and interact with celeb gossip

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Intense Fandom

Maltby- Celebrity atttitude scale CAS: 17 items love= individualistic and high= over identification.
ES= 15%. IP=15%. BP=2%


Cheung and Yue: chinese telephone survey found idol worship= low SE and low physchological well being.  Maltby: high anxiety and social dysfunction and depression.

Cheung and Yue: parents and teachers= high SE.
Phillips: suicide rates directly correlate to population suicide rates due to glamorising events.

Evolutionary: copy those who succeed copy methods and immitate fame and fortune.

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