Mass Media - Hypodermic Syringe Model

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Direct correlation exists between the violence and anti - social behaviour portrayed in the media and anti social behaviour found in real life.

Model suggests that children and teenagers are vulnerable to media content because they are still in the early stages of socialisation - impressionable - should be pretected from such material.

Examples of copy - cat violence:

  • Columbine - April 1999 2 students took guns and bombs into their school in Colorado and killed 13 people. Supporters of the HSM argued that the boys were influenced by playing the computer game doom and listening to the violent lyrics of Marilyn Manson.
  • James Bulger - 12th Feb 1993, 2 10 year old boys abducted toddler James Bulger from a shopping mall in Merseyside. They tortured and killed him according to the tabloid press by copying scenes from the video Child's Play 3. This lead to a moral panic concerning so called "Video Nasties". However, the police investigation into the death of Bulger found no evidence at all that either of James's killers has seen Child's Play 3.

Imitation and copycat violence

  • Bandura - looked for a direct cause and effect relationship between media content and violence. He showed 3 groups of children real film and cartoon examples of a self righting bobo doll being attacked with mallettes, whilst the 4th group saw no violent activity (control group). All the groups were then placed in


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