Media Influence on Social Behaviour.

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 15-06-12 20:47

Physiological Responses.

Watchers of horror films and violence have an increased heart rate.

Zillman suggests Excitation Transfer Theory. It is argued that arousal produced by watching is transferred to real life situations.

A provoked individual who has watched violence could show their high level of arousal which could be taken as an aggressive response.

With regular watching, arousal reduces and may disappear. This is Desensitisation.


Helps to explain aggressive behaviour that occurs after watching.

Struggles to explain violence some time after watching.

Overlooks self-control and moral restraint.



Cognitive priming: idea that watching violence stores scripts of violent acts. They are activated in similar situations.

Murray et al (2007) used  fMRI to compare active brain areas which were active when children watched violent TV and non-violent. When children watched violence, brain areas responsible for episodic memories were active. Acts may be stored as aggressive scripts.

Aggressive Behaviour.

Huesman et al (2003).

Aim: Assess the correlation between violent TV and aggressive behaviour.


 Boys and girls aged 5-8 were asked about their favourite TV.

*They were asked in again in their 20s.

*A friend was asked how often the P lost their temper.

*Examined official records to assess involvement in crime.


*Children who…


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