Media On Pro And Anti Social Behaviours Assignment Essay

2988 words - 12 pages

“With reference to relevant psychological theories, prepare a report which critically assesses the influence of the media on pro and anti-social behaviours”.
The media is defined as, the main means of mass communication. This includes broadcasting, publishing and the internet (Oxford dictionary 2016). In this report we will assess the influence of the media on pro and anti-social behaviour. Prosocial behaviour is described as a voluntary behaviour in order to benefit someone else, such as sharing and helping (Eisenberg et al 1998). Antisocial behaviour (ASB) is defined as, behaviour which causes harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons (Metropolitan Police 2016 & Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003). Psychological theories can be applied to demonstrate the extent of the role the media plays in these behaviours. Video games and music are three forms of media that will be explored.
It is often implied that video games are one of the factors to blame for violence amongst the youth (Lee 2004). There is an association between violent video games and antisocial behaviours, more specifically aggression (Anderson and Bushman 2001). It was found that aggression increased and prosocial behaviour decreased after children between ages four and six played a violent video game (Silvern & Williamson 1987). The link between video games and aggression can be explained via desensitisation, which simply means to make less sensitive (Oxford Dictionary 2016). It is argued that people who are exposed to violent video games become desensitised to the violence, and as a result, they are less likely to be affected by it in real life situations (Funk 2005). On the other hand it can be argued that media violence is more likely to result in a person being scared of violence rather than being desensitised (Carnagey et al 2007). However, according to arousal theory, people who play violent video games become physiologically aroused due to the exposure to the level of violence revealed (Lee 2004). Subsequently, once familiarised to that level of violence, players become desensitised thus needing higher levels of aggression to be aroused (Calvert 1999). Based on the principals of arousal theory, the General Aggression Model was developed. This stated that those who play violent video games develop aggressive beliefs and thoughts which prompt the gamers to violent behaviour in real life (Anderson & Bushman 2001).Therefore, it can still be argued that people become desensitised as they are less stimulated with lower physiological arousal (Huesmann and Moise 2003). There is also the difference between passive and interactive media, in which it is suggested that interactive video games where the player is actively involved will more likely display violent behaviour in comparison to passive media, like magazines (Porter and Starcevic 2007). In 1999, the Columbine High School Massacre took place, where two teenage boys carried out an attack in their school, killing a number...

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