A2 Media Psychology – anti social behaviour


A2 Media Psychology – anti social behaviour

A meta-analysis of media violence research was conducted by Paik and Comstock, (1994). They examined 217 studies of the relationship between media violence and aggressive behaviour. The studies were carried out between 1957 and 1990, with an age range from 3 to 70 years of age.

They found a highly significant, positive correlation between television violence and aggressive behaviour. The greatest effect was in pre-school children, and the effect for males was slightly higher than it was for females.


1.       Observational learning

Children learn from observing media models that they admire. These ‘scripts’ are stored and imitated and reproduced later if reward expected.

The more realistic they perceive scenes to be (e.g. scenes of bullying, domestic violence)…

… and the more they identify with the characters, more likely they are to imitate.

Philips (1983) examined crime statistics for 10 days after televised heavyweight boxing and Superbowl. Increase in murders evident after boxing but not after the football.


2. Cognitive priming

Aggressive thoughts and memories activated by viewing violence on TV. The viewer is primed to behave aggressively because network of memories involving aggression is retrieved.


3. Desensitisation

Inhibitions concerning violence in the real world are removed by the frequent viewing of violence on television. Violence is then perceived to be more acceptable and more ‘normal’ by the viewer.


4. Lowered physiological arousal

Arousal stimulated by viewing violence is unpleasant




Condensed information, backed up by examples, very impressed, thank you very much.



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