Psychology A2 - Media psychology

Media influence on social behaviour - Persuasion, attitude and change - The psychology of celebrity

  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 11-12-11 16:14

Media influences on social behaviour - Prosocial b

  • Explanations for media influences

Equivalent number of prosocial and antisocial acts on Children's TV

Prosocial TV reflects prosocial normals - Prosocial behaviours more likely to be reinforced

Younger children less able to understand prosocial messages on TV

Effective parental mediation - Discussing programmes with children

  • Research studies

Mares - meta-analysis - children exposed to prosocial content: Behaved more altruistically, showed high levels of social control in own behaviour, Acted more positively towards each other, became less stereotyped in attitudes and beliefs.

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Media influences on social behaviour - Prosocial b

  • Commentary

TV for preschool children contained few prosocial lessons

Prosocial depictions more effective when concrete than abstract

Post-viewing discussion may enhance prosocial norms, but does not always work

Strongest effects for pre-school children, weakest for adolescents

'instructive mediation' effective, 'social co-viewing' ineffective

Mixing prosocial and antisocial messages reduces the effectiveness of prosocial message

  • Synoptic links

Real - world application - Seasame street more effective for children of higher socioeconomic class, possible due to parental mediation effects

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Observational learning

Children observse actions of models and may later imitate them

more likely to be imitated if perceived as real

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Commentary

Bandura's - Artificial situation, little evidence of real-world 'copy cat' violence

St helena - no increases in aggression after introduction TV

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Cognitive priming

Activiation of existing aggressive thoughts and feelings

Frequent exposure leads to stored scripts for violent behaviour

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Commentary

Josephson - Walkie-Talkie acted as cue for aggression

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Desensitisation

Media violence desensities children to its effects

Media violence represents violence behaviour as 'normal'

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Commentary

Cumberbatch - Fact that children get used to screen violence does not mean they get used to real life violence

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Lowered physiological arousal

Heavy TV violence Viwers - lower arousal levels to scenes to violence

Don't react in normal way to violence and less inhibitied about using it

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Commentary

Excitation - transfer  - violence creates readiness to aggress

Catharsis - watching violence causes release of emotions

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Justification

Violent TV may justify what is acceptable behaviour

Unpunished TV violence decreases concerns about own behaviour

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Media influences on social behaviour - antisocial

  • Commentary

Negative effects of exposure to violent characters on TV supports justification model

Belson- unpredictable link between TV and aggression

  • Synoptic links

Problem of demand characteristics and ethical issues of making aggression more likely

Gender bias - most research has concentrated on males and says little about effect on females

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Media influences on social behaviour - Videos and

  • Research into video games and aggression

Short term increases in hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour

Aggression not measured directly e.g. through noise blast

  • Explanations of games and aggression link

Bi-directional model - Violent game play may cause aggression or aggressive people more likely to choose violent game play

Desensitisation - Less likely to show aversive response to violence in real life after violent game play

Interactive media more likely to have influence than passive media 

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Media influences on social behaviour - Videos and

  • Commentary

Experiemental studies can determine causal relationships but researchers cannot measure 'real-life' aggression

Correlational studies can use 'real-world' measure of aggression, but cannot detect causal relationship

Longitudinal studies overcome weaknesses of experiments and correlations, but cannot control for experience of other forms of media violence

Ferguson - after correcting for publication bias, no evidence for linke between violent game play and aggression

Difficult to distinguish between 'violent' and 'exciting' games

Byron report concluded no persuasive body for evidence for link

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Media influences on social behaviour - Videos and

  • Synoptic links

Physiological explanation - ACC activity suppressed during violent game play

People with more aggressive personality play games more aggressively - same game presents different contexts to different people

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Persuasion and a

  • Hovland - yale model

Source factors - Experts more effective because more credible.  Popular and attractive sources more effective

Message factors - Messages more effective if we think they are not intended to persuade. Messages can be more effective if it creates moderate level of fear

Audience factors - Low intelligence audiences less likely to process content of message so less easily influenced. Both sides of an argument more effective intelligent audiences.

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Persuasion and a

  • Commentary

Morton and Campbell - Children reported more favourable when message from doctor (expert) than parent

Lewis - fear arousing messages on drink-driving more persuasive in short-term but humorous message more persuasive in long-term

Igartua - changing nature of message can overcome limitations of audience

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Persuasion and a

  • Elaboration - likelihood model

Central route to persuasion - Audience motivated to focus on message and quality of arguments, produces lasting attitude change

Peripheral route - Audience not motivated to think about message and focus on peripheral factors, produces temporary attitude change

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Persuasion and a

  • Commentary

Haugtvedt - support for claim that central route more effective for high need for cognitive individuals

Real-world application - smoking risk campaign. Higher need for cognition more influenced by fact-based, low need for cognition emotion-based message

Di Blasio and Milani - CMC condition less distracted by context message more influential

Physiological explanation - ACC activity

  • Synoptic links

Most experiments involve students therefore problems of generalisation. Gender bias - gender differences in research due to methodological bias of persuasive material.

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Persuasion, attitude and change - atittudes and de

  • Cognitive dissonance

Inconsistency between cognitions creates dissonance

Motivated to reduce dissonance by: Changing attitude, changing behaviour, adding a third cognition. Post-decisional dissonance reduced by avoiding contradictory information. Lack of choice and large incentives lead to no dissonance because sufficient external justification for behaviour

Festinger and Carlsmith $1 reward produced more dissonance than did $20 reward

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Persuasion, attitude and change - atittudes and de

  • Commentary

Evidence for 'disengagment beliefs' strong negative correlation with motivation to quit smoking

Zhou - act of rejecting another conflicts with motive to affiliate, compelled individuals to change attitude toward affiliation

Cooper and Fazio - People tolerant of inconsistncy and only motivated to change if it is unpleasant and felt personally responsible

Lieberman - dissonance occurs automatically without conscious reflection

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Persuasion, attitude and change - atittudes and de

  • Self-perception theory

Bem - people infer their attitudes by observing their own behaviour

Own version of festinger and Carlsmith experience - found results consistent with self-perception theory

Holland - weak attitude towards greenpeace - donated money - stronger attitude

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Persuasion, attitude and change - atittudes and de

  • Commentary

Used in treatment of heterosocial anxiety

Cognitive dissonance accounts for situations where well-established attitudes are inconsistent with behaviour, self perception theory where attitudes are weak or less important

  • Synoptic links

Challenge to behaviourism - behaviour transcends influences of rewards and punishment

Real-world application - 'foot in the door' telephone request effect

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Effectiveness of

  • Advertising

Hard sell (Factual) and Soft sell (Subtle) Techniques

High self-monitors perfer soft sell, low self-monitors hard sell

Celebrity endorsement provides someone who can be trusted but not as credible as 'experts'

Martin - meta analysis found strong positive correlation between agre and understanding of persuasive intent

Pester power of children - demonstrated in Pine and Nash study

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Effectiveness of

  • Commentary

Hume concluded that celebrity endorsement did not significantly increase persuasive did not significantly increase persuauive communication of adverts

Difficult to determine impact of exposure to commericial TV because of parental mediation and peer influence

Cinema advertising may be more effective than TV advertising because audience can leave room in latter

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Effectiveness of

  • Health-related behaviour change

Media most effective in health campaigns when: Wide exposure is desired, time frame is urgent, behavioural goal is simple.

Fictional drama has impact on knowledge of general public

Hawton - television exposure of paracetamol overdoes in casualty episode led to greater awareness in viewers

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Persuasion, attitude and change - Effectiveness of

  • Commentary

HDA study - successful health - related attitude change due to TV campaigns on alcohol awareness, HIV/AIDS and skin cancer

Audiences distinguish between 'fictional' and 'factural' but programmes such as casualty still seen as source of factual knowledge

  • Synoptic links

Problems of measurement - in advertising research, what is measured is attitude rather than purchasing behaviour.

Cultural differences in pester power - lower in sweden (where direct advertising to children under 12 is banned)

Gender-stereotyped adverts promote acceptance of current social arrangements no matter how inappropriate

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Psychology of celebrity - Attraction of celebrity

  • Social psychological explanations

Parasocial relationships (PR) - individual attracted to celebrity even though celebrity is unaware

Because of this, no risk of critism or rejection

Formed with those seen as attractive and similar - raises self-esteem

Allows person to imagine how they would act in similar situations

Absorption-addicition model - three levels of attraction: Enternment-social, Intense-personal, Borderline-pathological.

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Psychology of celebrity - Attraction of celebrity

  • Commentary

Research does not support idea that PR are dysfunctional (Schiappa)

PR offer benefits of models of behaviour and reduction in uncertainty over social relationships

Intense - personal level associated with neuroticism, borderline-pathological associated with psychotism

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Psychology of celebrity - Attraction of celebrity

  • Evolutionary explanations

Human beings possess love of novelty (neophilia)

Would have led to neopolia as criterion for female choice and so evolution of these characterisitics in males (sexual selection)

Celebrities represent the creative world, so we are attracted to them

Exchange of social information useful for ancestors

No distinction between social network and familiar media, hence celebrity gossip

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Psychology of celebrity - Attraction of celebrity

  • Commentary

Shiraishi - genetic variations of MAOA enzyme associated with preferences for neophilia

Sexual selection explanations arbitrary - do not explain why these traits were attractive to ancestors

De backer - survery provides support that celebrities misperceived as part of social network, explaining interest in gossip

  • Synoptic links

Experimental manipulation to demonstrate important of 'lights - off' situation in development of PR.

Link with attactment theory - anxious attachment style and PR

PR with celebrities perceived as slim may lead to poor body image

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Psychology of celebrity - Intense fandom - A01

  • Celebrity worship

Measured using 'celebrity attitude scale' (CAS) - produced three levels of PR

Maltby - one third of sample scored above midpoint of CAS, although most at entertainment-social level

Celebrity worship associated with lower levels of academic work and lower levels of psychological well-being

Parasocial bereavement experienced after death of celebrity

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Psychology of celebrity - Intense fandom - A02

  • Commentary

Higher self-esteem experienced if 'worship' towards those who provide positive impact on person's life

Negative consequences of celebrity worship - copying bad or suicidal behaviour of celebrities

Adaptive for individuals to look up to those who receive attention for being successful

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Psychology of celebrity - Intense fandom - A01

  • Stalking

Love-obessional stalkers - many suffer from delusional thought patterns, retreating to fantasy world

Simple-obsessional stalkers - distinguished by previous relationship with target

Cyber-stalker - use of texts and e-mails sent to target

Advantages of anonymity and less fear or reprisal

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Psychology of celebrity - Intense fandom - A02

  • Commentary

Impact of stalking includes agitation, anxiety and sleep disturbances

Tonin - stalkers show more evidence of insecure attachment styles

Cyberstalking may be less reinforcing because no observation of impact on victim

Cyberstalking not taken as seriously as other forms of stalking

  • Synoptic links

Maltby- negative correlation between religiosity and celebrity worship

Mullen - identified five types of stalker, each linked to a different form of psychopathology.

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Effects of video games and computers A01 - Negativ

  • Negative effects

Experimental studies:

- S.T increase i physiological arousal, hostile feelings and aggressive behaviour

- Gentile and stone - Noise blast - After violent gaming, blasted opponient for longer and rated high on the state hostility scale.

Longitudinal studies:

- Anderson - 430 7-9year olds -  Increased exposure to violent games = increased verbal and physical aggression and less prosocial


- Gentile and Anderson - Newer games more violent

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Effects of Video games and computers A01 - negativ

Facebook and stress:

- Charles - 12% anxiety with social networking sites

- More anxious people had more friends - 32% guilty for rejecting and 10% disliked friend requests.

- Kaprinski - FB users had lower grades.

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Effects of video and computers A02 - Negative effe

  • Negative effects

Research evidence:

- + of Lab exp. - Relationship determined

- - of lab exp. - cant use measures from real life aggressive behaviour - no relationship actually found - unethical to cause real aggressive behaviour.

- Longitudinal - Can find patterns between Long term and short term. - however, could be exposed to other violence

-FB and grades - Personality traits affect - Greenfield - FB shortens attention span and providing instant gratification

- FB and stress - Asthmatic man - Maximum breathing reduced after seeing EX on fb.  FB = stress and trigger factors for depressed asthmatics.

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Effects of video games and computers - A01 - Posit

  • Positive effects

Helping behaviour:

- Greitmeyer and Osswald - Lemmings - 67% helped pick up pencils only 28% helped from aggressive game

Multiplayer and social:

- Kahne - sims - learned problems in societ and social issues

- Lenhart - Survey - played halo -64% social commitment

Facebook and self-esteem:

- Gonzoles - look in mirror, go on FB or do nothing for 3 minutes, FB choosers gave more positive feedback about themselves.

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Effects of video games and computers - A02 - Posi

  • Positive effects

Prosocial games reduce effect :

- Greitmeyer and Osswald - Prosocial games less attractive therefore less likely to be produced


- Surverys lack of controls


- Iraq virtual game - Post-traumatic stress reduced and confront trauma - Tetric reduced flashbacks

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Effects of video games and computers - A02 - Posi

Facebook and self-esteem:

- Hyperexpersonal model - Walther.

- we choose info. to represent outselves.

- Computer mediated communication - opportunity for positive self-esteem as 'wall feedback' is positive.  

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Applying the Hovland and yale model A01

  • The source

- Attractiveness commmunicators increase persuasive - Petty and Caciappo

- Cheryl Cole

  • The message

- Putwain and Symes - Classroom fear appeals influenced exam performance - their frequency was positive related to exam performance - However, percieved as threatening = negative exam. performance

  • Audience

- Martin - older children good understanding, young children did not.

- Loftus - Attitudes readily altered by misleading info. - implications use of children as wittnesses e.g. Child abuse cases - young people more susceptable to persuasion.

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Applying the Hovland and Yale model A02

  • Attractive sources are not necessarily the most influential

Hume - Does not significantly increase the persuasion - Over shadows - E.g. Johnny vegas and monkey famous but product not.

O'mahony and Meenaghan - Celebrities not regarded as believable or convincing

  • Fear appeals do work

Anti drugs campaign - ICE campaign moderate fear - Emphasised choice and opporunity for positive change - 70% changed how they felt about drugs

Works if not petrified

  • Gender bias in persuasion research

Sistrunk and Mcdavid - Women more easily persuaded as topic used was familiar for men. Not so susceptible if topic is familiar.

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Applying the Hovland and Yale model A02

Eagly - Socialisation differences - Women conform therefore more opten to social influence 

Karabenick - Influence varied with item content. Males influenced with feminine content and females with masculine content.  

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Applying the ELM - A01

  • Online campaign

Lin - 263 Taiwanese students - choose mobile based on consumer reviews - Completed a need for cognition measure - Both quality and quantitiy reviews influenced purhcasing intentions. However - high need for cognition students placed a greater importance on review quantity not quality.

  • Health campaigns

Vidine - Need for cognition - factor in health campaign - Students exposed to either central or peripheral route for smoking risk campaign - increased need for cognition were more influenced - when people lact expertise about an issue their more likely to employ the peripheral route as they consider a health message - health claims unsupported by research findings are often appealing to many people.

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Applying the ELM - A02

  • Online shopping

Lin - Marketing executive - peripheral route - importance of generating as many reviews for low need for cognition audience

  • Peripheral route influence may only be temp.

Earvin johnson JR basket ball player HIV postive - Penner and Fritzche -No student volunteers to help an AIDS victim until after Johnson's anouncement -  rates 83%. After 4 and a half months rates fell back down. - Peripheral route can be considerable strong likihood that any change is temporary.

  • Why do people somtimes take the peripheral route?

Message is not personally important influenced by contextual cues - Content is important increases motivated to process more carefully - Gary Lineker - Crisps influnce would be weak if endorsing mortgages or bank loans 

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Applying the ELM - A02

Fiske and Taylor - Most human cognitive misers rely on simple and time saving strategies when evalutating information and making decisions

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Dan Bushell


these are a brilliant

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