The role of media in addictive behaviour

psychology aqa a A2 unit 4

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  • Created by: lauren
  • Created on: 15-06-12 16:38

Research into film representation of addiction

Sulkunen - 61 scenes from 47 films were analysed regarding addictions to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling and sex - enjoyment of drugs was frequently contrasted with the dullness of ordinary life - competent use of drugs was represented as a way of alleviating a particular problem - in Human traffic the use of ecstasy was portrayed as a way of resolving relationship problems for 2 of the main characters

Gunasekera - 87  of the most popular films of the last 20 years were looked at for their portrayal of sex and drug usage - films with cannabis and other non-injected illict drugs were less common than those portaying alcohol intoxication and tobacco use but tended to portay the use of such drugs positively and without showing and negative effects  - no references to the consequences of unsafe sex such as HIV transmission - study found that only 1 in 4 films was free from negative health behaviours such as unprotected sex with new partners, cannabis use, smoking and alcohol intoxication

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Research into film representation of addiction

Sargent and Hanewinkel - surveyed a total of 4400 adolescents who were re-surveyed a year later found that of those individuals who had not smoked when first surveyed, exposure to movies with smoking over the intervening year was a significant and strong predictor or whether they had begun smoking when re-surveyed one year later - issues of using a survey - have to rely on recall of pp's - may be unreliable as they may bend the truth due to what they think the experimenter wants from them - demand characteristics - limited sample - films may influence adults or children of other ages in different ways so we have to be careful when generalising results - quite a large sample size so individual differences are not likely to affect results

importance of film representations of addiction - byrne - films such as trainspotting are important because they educate both addicts and the general public about addiction by creating stereotypes - he draws a parallel with the fact that the dominant image of ECT  comes not from public information literature but from the film 'one flew over a cuckoo's nest'

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Research into film representation of addiction

alternative perspective - boyd - argues that films actually often represent negative rather than positive consequences of addiction - example - illegal drug use and addiction are depicted by physical deteriration , sexual degradation, violence, crime and moral decline

ethical guidelines - US OSAP has developed guidelines about drugs for film and television writers - recommend writers should communicate all illegal drug use as unhealthy and harmful, that addiction should be presented as a disease and abstinence as a viable choice - should be no references to recreational drug use since no drug use is recreational

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Role of media in changing addictive behaviour

Suitable role for the media - television and the internet have been identified as media that could be used to provide support for addicts and education about addiction - increasingley being used to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviour change such as smoking cessation and physical exercise

competitive media drives people to use drugs - brian wilson - creative genius behind the beach boys - used drugs such as cannabis and LSD as a creative influence - but his use of cocaine which he became addicted to no longer contributed to the creative process - was a form of self-medication as he struggled with the pressures of writing and touring - shows how competitive the media drives some people to experiment with drugs as a creative influence but they become victims of the drugs addictive power - BELLI

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Role of media in changing addictive behaviour

Problem drinking TV programmes - Bennett - assessed the effect of a BBC programme psst..the really useful guide to alcohol - viewers showed improbed alcohol-related knowledge but didnt show any change in attitude or in actual alcohol consumption - kramer - assessed effectiveness of Drinking less? do it yourself! 5 week television self help intervention designed to reduce problem drinking - found intervention group were more successful than a control group in achieving low risk problem drinking, a difference maintained at a 3 month follow up

Methological problems - Kramer study - involved an intervention group who watched the programme and a control group who watched the series later - intervention group recieved weekly visits from the researchers , the extra attention may explain the positive outcome - waiting list group were aware they would recieve treatment soon so may have post-poned heir behavioural change - artifically inflating the magnitude of the difference between the 2 groups and affecting the outcomes - results not due to the programme itself but due to the metholodgy issues?

most evidence about media effects on addivtive behaviour is correlational - doesnt indicate a causal relationship between exposure and addiction so various other factors could be in play that are affecting results

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Role of media in changing addictive behaviour

Anti-drug campaigns - in 2008 a TV and internet advertising campaign was launched in the UK to warn teenagers of the dangers of cocaine use - adverts feature a dog called Pblo who is used by drug dealers to carry cocaine - dog seeks out cocaine users to find out what happens to them after taking the drug

Do these campaigns work? Hornik colcuded that the $1 billion US national youth anti-drug media campaign not only failed but had negatvie effects - messages in the campaign were not novel  - anti-drug advertising has implicit messages that drug use is commonplace - johnson found that youths who saw the ads took from them the message that their peers were using marijuana and were then more likely to imitate marijuana use themselves

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This is brilliant, thank you!

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