explanations of media influences

  • Created by: maisha
  • Created on: 27-03-21 18:03


Desensitisation: When violent actions are witnessed, the natural response is one of increased anxiety and physiological arousal. Repeated exposure to violence reduces levels of arousal in response, so leading to less anxiety, so increasing likelihood of aggression. Less empathy is felt for the victims of aggression, and the negative effects of violence are more easily dismissed. Weisz and Earls (1995) found that male participants who watched the film Straw Dogs (which includes a graphic **** scene) were less sympathetic towards a **** victim when they were then shown a re-enactment of a **** trial.

Disinhibition: This is where the social constraints against aggression are weakened. Normally aggression would be viewed as undesirable and anti-social. However, watching and consuming violent media may give the impression to the viewer that aggression is justifiable in some situations, and violent acts may be shown as being rewarded. Aggression becomes more ‘acceptable’, so the viewer is more likely to use it in real-life situations.

Cognitive priming: Repeated viewing of violence creates ‘scripts’ in


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