Media Influences on Prosocial Behaviour


The media does influence prosocial behabviour. However, it is not studied as widely as the effect of media on anti-social behaviour. 

Exposure to prosocial behaviour is one way that the media can influence prosocial behaviour. However, in a content analysis by Kunkel et al, two-thirds of the children's programmes that were sampled contained at least one act of violence. Even though a high number of violence acts were reported, there is evidence that there is a comparable level of prosocial behaviour within those programmes too. This research has been supported by Greenberg (1980) who reported an equivalent number of prosocial behaviour and anti-social behaviour in any hour. 

Research by Woodward also strengthens these findings. Woodward found that US programmes for preschool children did have high levels of of prosocial behaviour with 77% of programmes analysed containing at least one prosocial lesson. This shows that children are exposed to prosocial behaviour as well as anti-social behaviour.

Bandura (1962) proposed the social learning theory which states that we learn by observing how to do things and when it is acceptable to do them. We then imitate these behaviours and the consequences


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