Media influences on ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Huesmann and Moise (1996) suggest five ways that exposure to media violence might lead to aggression in children.
1) Observational learning and imitation- Children observe the actions of media models and may later imitate these behaviours, especially when the child admires and identifies with the model. Television may also inform viewers of the positive and negative consequences of violent behaviour. Children can be expected to imitate violent behaviour that is successful in gaining the model’s objectives. The more real children perceive violent scenes to be, and the more they believe the characters are like them (identification), the more likely they will want to try out the behaviour they have learned
2) Cognitive priming-This refers to the activation of existing aggressive thoughts and feelings, and explains why children observe one kind of aggression on television and commit another kind of aggressive act afterwards. Immediately after a violent programme, the viewer is primed to respond aggressively because a network of memories involving aggressive behaviour is retrieved. Frequent exposure to scenes of violence may lead children to store scripts for aggressive behaviour in their memories, and these may be recalled in a later situation if any aspect of the original situation is present.
3) Desensitisation- this argument assumes that under normal conditions, anxiety about violence slows down its use. Media violence, however, may stimulate aggressive behaviour by desensitising children to the effects of violence. The more televised violence a child watches, the more acceptable aggressive behaviour becomes for that child. Frequent viewing of television violence may cause children to be less anxious about violence. Someone who becomes desensitised to violence may therefore perceive it as more ‘normal’, and be more likely to engage in violence themselves.
4) Lowered physiological arousal- Large scale studies of this explanation have consistently…