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To What Extent Is Media Violence Related To Aggressive And Violent Behavior In Children?

2239 words - 9 pages

Media Violence & It’s Effects
The lives of our youth are being ruined because of the violence in today’s media. This is the view held by many people in our society today. Many psychologists believe that violence on television, movies and other forms of media have a negative effect on children, while others believe media violence has no effect on children. The reality is that children tend to emulate the behavior that they see in the media they are exposed too. The media can have a powerful influence on young impressionable children. Their minds are sponge-like, absorbing all that they are exposed to. Their feelings and emotions become more imminent once they begin to go through adolescents; children often acquire the ability for aggression, sadness, and happiness more readily during this stage. Albert Bandura, a Psychologist, with an interest in child development, used his Bobo doll experiment to prove that when a child watches extensive amounts of violent media they are more likely to display violent behavior. Violence in the media affects children’s behavior by cultivating fearful attitudes, desensitizing, and causing an increase in unrealistic views of the world.
Albert Bandura conducted his experiment to prove that violent media has an effect on a child’s violent behavior. The experiment was called the Bobo Doll experiment, where children watched a video of an adult violently hitting a doll named Bobo, “later the children were given the opportunity to play with the Bobo doll themselves, and sure enough, most displayed the same kind of behavior, in some cases mimicking the aggressive behavior almost identically” (Feldman, 2010, p. 185-186). Bandura is correct in his theory that media violence has a profound effect on behavior, especially in children.
How Would You Treat Your Bobo Doll?
From movies, television and video games children spend a majority of their social lives surrounded by media. Media that is filled with violence often causes children to develop fearful attitudes toward the world. “The average child in the US will view more than 8,000 murders and 800,000 violent acts on network television” (Feldman, 2010, p.188). Too often, people are bombarded with headlines such as “man kills 20 in local elementary school”, these headlines are impossible to read without conjuring some level of fear. “In a nationally representative survey, 62 percent of parents of two-to-seventeen year olds agreed that their children had sometimes become scared that something they saw in a movie or on television might happen to them” (Wilson, 2008, para. 2). Statistics such as these are overwhelming to hear. Around the clock coverage of child abductions, war and murders has made it difficult for parents to shield their children from such graphic media. Violent media is instilling fearful attitudes in children every time they turn on the television.
Many people will argue that it is the parental upbringing that causes violent and aggressive behavior in...


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