The Effects Of Violence In The Media

2678 words - 11 pages

The effects of violence in the media that we see on a day-to-day basis affect us all. For most adults, we choose whether to act upon these effects or not. However, what about those who are exposed to this violence and who are not adults? What about our nation’s adolescents and youth? They do not have the mental capabilities of adults, what happens to them when they are exposed to such violence and they choose to act on their thoughts after exposure? These are just a few of the slew of questions that have been asked by psychologists over the years about media violence.
The first article that I found that deals with violence in the media may not pertain to the adolescents and youth of this nation, but it does pertain to the younger adult crowd and how they view a situation in news articles. The article is called “Race, media, and violence: Differential racial effects of exposure to violent news stories” by James D. Johnson, Mike S. Adams, William Hall, and Leslie Ashburn (1997). The basis for this study was to gain further insight into how people would see things when they were given a non-violent or violent news article and then had a race (Black, White, Non-specified race) added to the situation in the news article. This study conducted is aligned with the course’s curriculum as it correlates with the chapter on aggression and the media influences that it has on people’s aggression. Johnson et al. (1997) were hoping to find out if people had a learned predisposition to attribute the violent crimes with those of a certain race (in this case it was Black, White, or Non-specified) when people read a news article that was violent or non-violent because violence is stereotypically associated with Blacks. Johnson et al. (1997) hypothesized that when the participants read the article, they would be more likely to attribute the violence to Blacks compared to a White or Non-specified race “defendant” (p. 84). To test their theory Johnson et al. (1997) took forty-four men and fifty-six women, who were Caucasian and generally from southeastern North Carolina, from and introductory psychology class.
The procedure that Johnson et al (1997) used for this study was a 2-part experiment (p. 83-84) style. In the first experiment the participants were informed that it would be about perception and recall (p. 84). The participants were given three articles to read and then given several questions that would get a measure of their perception and recall. The violent group was given 1 article that was non-violent and 2 articles that were violent (p. 83). The first violent article was that of people getting into an altercation and someone either being killed or wounded and the second violent article was of someone getting mugged or beat up (p.83-84). The non-violent group was given three articles that were of nothing violent (the example given in the study was an article about the surgeons warning on smoking) (p. 84). They were then thanked by the...

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