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Observational Learning And Media Violence Essays

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Violence On The Tube Essay, Research Paper

Violence on the Tube

One Saturday morning many years ago, I was watching an episode of the ?Roadrunner? on television. As Wile E. Coyote was pushed off of a cliff by the Roadrunner for the fourth or fifth time, I started laughing uncontrollably. I then watched a ?Bugs Bunny? show and started laughing whenever I saw Elmer Fudd shoot Daffy Duck and his bill went twirling around his head. The next day, I pushed my brother off of a cliff and shot my dog to see if its head would twirl around.

Obviously, that last sentence is not true. Some people believe that violence on the tube is one of the main factors that leads to real-life violence, but in my opinion, television is just a minor factor that leads to real-life violence and that it is the parents responsibility to teach kids the difference.

According to Rathus in Psychology in the New Millennium, observational learning may account for most human learning (239). Observational learning extends to observing parents and peers, classroom learning, reading books, and learning from media such as television and films. Nearly all of us have been exposed to television, videotapes, and films in the classroom. Children in day-care centers often watch Sesame Street. There are filmed and videotaped versions of great works of literature such as Orson Welles? Macbeth. Nearly every school shows films of laboratory experiments.

But what of our viewing outside of the classroom? Television is also one of our major sources of informal observational learning. According to Sweet and Singh, viewing habits range from the child who watches no television at all to the child who is in front of the television nearly all waking hours. They say that on average, children aged 2 to 11 watch about 23 hours of television per week, and teenagers watch about 22 hours per week (2). According to these figures,

children spend less time in the classroom than they do watching television. During these hours of

viewing, children are constantly being shown acts of violence.

Why? Simple: violence sells.

People are drawn to violence in films, television dramas, books, professional wrestling and boxing, and reports of crime and warfare. Does violence do more than sell, however? Do media portrayals of violence beget violence in the streets and in the home?

It seems clear enough that there are connections between violence in the media and real

violence. In the 1990?s, for example, audiences at films about violent urban youth such as Colors, Boyz N the Hood, and Juice have gotten into fights, shot one another, and gone on rampages after the showings. The MTV cartoon characters, Beavis and Butt-head, who comment on rock videos and burn and destroy things, may have been connected with the death of a 2-year-old and a burned room in Ohio. The victims 5-year-old brother, who set the blaze that killed the 2-year-old,

had begun playing with fire after he observed Beavis and Butt-head to say that fire is fun. A few more examples are shown on the picture to the left (Leland 47). Obviously, these are just a few isolated incidents. If everyone acted this way after watching violence then we would really have a problem.

Children are routinely exposed to murders, beatings, and sexual assaults just by turning on the television set. The public is wary of it, of course. Psychologists, educators, and parent groups have raised many questions about the effects of media violence. For example, does media violence cause real violence? If there are causal connections between media violence and real violence, what can parents and educators do to prevent the fictional from spilling over into the real world?

Media violence affects children through observational learning, disinhibition, increasing arousal and priming aggressive thoughts, and desensitization. The Mean World Syndrome, which suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may begin to believe that the world is as mean and dangerous in real life as it appears on television, and hence, they begin to view the world as a much more mean and dangerous place, is another way in which media violence affects children (Murray 9).

Children learn from observing the behavior of their parents and other adults. Television violence supplies models of aggressive ?skills. Acquisition of these skills, in turn, enhances children?s aggressive competencies. In fact, children are more likely to imitate what their parents do than heed what they say. If adults say they disapprove of aggression but smash furniture or slap each other when frustrated, children are likely to develop the notion that aggression is the way to handle frustration. Classic experiments have shown that children tend to imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television, whether the models are cartoons or real people. In one such experiment, a child watches a film where an adult beats up on a life-size doll. The child is then put in a room with the same doll and is observed. The child almost always beats up on the doll in the same ways as seen in the film.

The expression of ?skills? may be inhibited by punishment or by the expectation of punishment. Conversely, media violence may disinhibit the expression of aggressive impulses that would otherwise have been controlled, especially when media characters ?get away? with violence or are rewarded for it. 73% of violent acts in programs went unpunished (?Telecommunications: Clinton Backs Antiviolence Chip? 536).

Media violence and aggressive video games increase viewers? levels of arousal. In the vernacular, television ?works them up. We are more likely to engage in dominant forms of behavior, including aggressive behavior, under high levels of arousal. Media violence has cognitive effects that also prime aggressive ideas and memories. Media violence provides scripts,

or ideas on how to behave in situations that seem to parallel those they have observed.

Desensitization suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to violence in the real world around them, less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and more willing to tolerate ever-increasing levels of violence in our society. We become used to, or habituated to, many stimuli that impinge on us repeatedly. Repeated exposure to television violence may therefore decrease viewers? emotional response to real violence. If children come to perceive violence as the norm, their own attitudes toward violence may become less condemnatory and they may place less value on constraining aggressive urges.

The question repeatedly arises as to whether media violence should be curtailed in an effort to stem community violence. Because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, current restraints on media depictions of violence are voluntary. Films, perhaps, are more violent than they have ever been, but television stations now and then attempt to tone down the violence in shows intended for children.

Still, our children are going to be exposed to a great deal of media violence. If not in Saturday morning cartoon shows, then in evening dramas and in the news. Or they?ll hear about violence from friends, watch children get into fights, or read about violence in the newspapers. Even if all those sources of violence were somehow hidden from view, they would learn of violence in Hamlet, Macbeth, and even in the Bible. Thus, the notion of preventing children from being exposed to violent models is impractical. We might also want our children to learn some aggressive skills so that they can defend themselves against bullies and rapists.

What, then, should be done? First of all, consider whether we are overestimating the threat. Although media violence contributes to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically trigger aggressive behavior. Many other factors, including the quality of the home environment, are involved. A loving, comfortable home life is not likely to feed into aggressive tendencies.

In conclusion, it is parents? and educators? responsibility to inform children that the violent behavior they observe in the media does not represent the behavior of most people. Also, the apparently aggressive behaviors they watch are not real. They reflect camera tricks, special effects, and stunts. Another important thing to tell children is that most people resolve conflicts by nonviolent means. Since it is impossible to censor television because of first amendment rights and television is a small contributor to real-life violence, parents should concert their efforts towards spending time with their children and actually watching a violent show with their children and discussing in depth what is being shown. If children consider violence inappropriate, they will probably not act aggressively, even if they have acquired aggressive skills. For in the words of Andrew Greeley. Music, film, and television reflect behavior rather than cause it. (C2)

If I had known all this years before, maybe my brother wouldn?t have a headache all the time and my dog?s head wouldn?t be facing the wrong way.

Other articles

Violence On The Tube Essay Research Paper

Violence On The Tube Essay Research Paper

Violence on the Tube

One Saturday morning many years ago, I was watching an episode of the ?Roadrunner? on television. As Wile E. Coyote was pushed off of a cliff by the Roadrunner for the fourth or fifth time, I started laughing uncontrollably. I then watched a ?Bugs Bunny? show and started laughing whenever I saw Elmer Fudd shoot Daffy Duck and his bill went twirling around his head. The next day, I pushed my brother off of a cliff and shot my dog to see if its head would twirl around.

Obviously, that last sentence is not true. Some people believe that violence on the tube is one of the main factors that leads to real-life violence, but in my opinion, television is just a minor factor that leads to real-life violence and that it is the parents responsibility to teach kids the difference.

According to Rathus in Psychology in the New Millennium, observational learning may account for most human learning (239). Observational learning extends to observing parents and peers, classroom learning, reading books, and learning from media such as television and films. Nearly all of us have been exposed to television, videotapes, and films in the classroom. Children in day-care centers often watch Sesame Street. There are filmed and videotaped versions of great works of literature such as Orson Welles? Macbeth. Nearly every school shows films of laboratory experiments.

But what of our viewing outside of the classroom? Television is also one of our major sources of informal observational learning. According to Sweet and Singh, viewing habits range from the child who watches no television at all to the child who is in front of the television nearly all waking hours. They say that on average, children aged 2 to 11 watch about 23 hours of television per week, and teenagers watch about 22 hours per week (2). According to these figures,

children spend less time in the classroom than they do watching television. During these hours of

viewing, children are constantly being shown acts of violence.

Why? Simple: violence sells.

People are drawn to violence in films, television dramas, books, professional wrestling and boxing, and reports of crime and warfare. Does violence do more than sell, however? Do media portrayals of violence beget violence in the streets and in the home?

It seems clear enough that there are connections between violence in the media and real

violence. In the 1990?s, for example, audiences at films about violent urban youth such as Colors, Boyz N the Hood, and Juice have gotten into fights, shot one another, and gone on rampages after the showings. The MTV cartoon characters, Beavis and Butt-head, who comment on rock videos and burn and destroy things, may have been connected with the death of a 2-year-old and a burned room in Ohio. The victims 5-year-old brother, who set the blaze that killed the 2-year-old,

had begun playing with fire after he observed Beavis and Butt-head to say that fire is fun. A few more examples are shown on the picture to the left (Leland 47). Obviously, these are just a few isolated incidents. If everyone acted this way after watching violence then we would really have a problem.

Children are routinely exposed to murders, beatings, and sexual assaults just by turning on the television set. The public is wary of it, of course. Psychologists, educators, and parent groups have raised many questions about the effects of media violence. For example, does media violence cause real violence? If there are causal connections between media violence and real violence, what can parents and educators do to prevent the fictional from spilling over into the real world?

Media violence affects children through observational learning, disinhibition, increasing arousal and priming aggressive thoughts, and desensitization. The Mean World Syndrome, which suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may begin to believe that the world is as mean and dangerous in real life as it appears on television, and hence, they begin to view the world as a much more mean and dangerous place, is another way in which media violence affects children (Murray 9).

Children learn from observing the behavior of their parents and other adults. Television violence supplies models of aggressive ?skills. Acquisition of these skills, in turn, enhances children?s aggressive competencies. In fact, children are more likely to imitate what their parents

do than heed what they say. If adults say they disapprove of aggression but smash furniture or slap each other when frustrated, children are likely to develop the notion that aggression is the way to handle frustration. Classic experiments have shown that children tend to imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television, whether the models are cartoons or real people. In one such experiment, a child watches a film where an adult beats up on a life-size doll. The child is then put in a room with the same doll and is observed. The child almost always beats up on the doll in the same ways as seen in the film.

The expression of ?skills? may be inhibited by punishment or by the expectation of punishment. Conversely, media violence may disinhibit the expression of aggressive impulses that would otherwise have been controlled, especially when media characters ?get away? with violence or are rewarded for it. 73% of violent acts in programs went unpunished (?Telecommunications: Clinton Backs Antiviolence Chip? 536).

Media violence and aggressive video games increase viewers? levels of arousal. In the vernacular, television ?works them up. We are more likely to engage in dominant forms of behavior, including aggressive behavior, under high levels of arousal. Media violence has cognitive effects that also prime aggressive ideas and memories. Media violence provides scripts.

or ideas on how to behave in situations that seem to parallel those they have observed.

Desensitization suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to violence in the real world around them, less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and more willing to tolerate ever-increasing levels of violence in our society. We become used to, or habituated to, many stimuli that impinge on us repeatedly. Repeated exposure to television violence may therefore decrease viewers? emotional response to real violence. If children come to perceive violence as the norm, their own attitudes toward violence may become less condemnatory and they may place less value on constraining aggressive urges.

The question repeatedly arises as to whether media violence should be curtailed in an effort to stem community violence. Because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, current restraints on media depictions of violence are voluntary. Films, perhaps, are more violent than they have ever been, but television stations now and then attempt to tone down the violence in shows intended for children.

Still, our children are going to be exposed to a great deal of media violence. If not in Saturday morning cartoon shows, then in evening dramas and in the news. Or they?ll hear about violence from friends, watch children get into fights, or read about violence in the newspapers. Even if all those sources of violence were somehow hidden from view, they would learn of violence in Hamlet, Macbeth, and even in the Bible. Thus, the notion of preventing children from being exposed to violent models is impractical. We might also want our children to learn some aggressive skills so that they can defend themselves against bullies and rapists.

What, then, should be done? First of all, consider whether we are overestimating the threat. Although media violence contributes to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically trigger aggressive behavior. Many other factors, including the quality of the home environment, are involved. A loving, comfortable home life is not likely to feed into aggressive tendencies.

In conclusion, it is parents? and educators? responsibility to inform children that the violent behavior they observe in the media does not represent the behavior of most people. Also, the apparently aggressive behaviors they watch are not real. They reflect camera tricks, special effects, and stunts. Another important thing to tell children is that most people resolve conflicts by nonviolent means. Since it is impossible to censor television because of first amendment rights and television is a small contributor to real-life violence, parents should concert their efforts towards spending time with their children and actually watching a violent show with their children and discussing in depth what is being shown. If children consider violence inappropriate, they will probably not act aggressively, even if they have acquired aggressive skills. For in the words of Andrew Greeley. Music, film, and television reflect behavior rather than cause it. (C2)

If I had known all this years before, maybe my brother wouldn?t have a headache all the time and my dog?s head wouldn?t be facing the wrong way.

Violence On The Tube Essay Research Paper

Violence On The Tube Essay, Research Paper

Violence on the Tube

One Saturday morning many years ago, I was watching an episode of the ?Roadrunner? on television. As Wile E. Coyote was pushed off of a cliff by the Roadrunner for the fourth or fifth time, I started laughing uncontrollably. I then watched a ?Bugs Bunny? show and started laughing whenever I saw Elmer Fudd shoot Daffy Duck and his bill went twirling around his head. The next day, I pushed my brother off of a cliff and shot my dog to see if its head would twirl around.

Obviously, that last sentence is not true. Some people believe that violence on the tube is one of the main factors that leads to real-life violence, but in my opinion, television is just a minor factor that leads to real-life violence and that it is the parents responsibility to teach kids the difference.

According to Rathus in Psychology in the New Millennium, observational learning may account for most human learning (239). Observational learning extends to observing parents and peers, classroom learning, reading books, and learning from media such as television and films. Nearly all of us have been exposed to television, videotapes, and films in the classroom. Children in day-care centers often watch Sesame Street. There are filmed and videotaped versions of great works of literature such as Orson Welles? Macbeth. Nearly every school shows films of laboratory experiments.

But what of our viewing outside of the classroom? Television is also one of our major sources of informal observational learning. According to Sweet and Singh, viewing habits range from the child who watches no television at all to the child who is in front of the television nearly all waking hours. They say that on average, children aged 2 to 11 watch about 23 hours of television per week, and teenagers watch about 22 hours per week (2). According to these figures,

children spend less time in the classroom than they do watching television. During these hours of

viewing, children are constantly being shown acts of violence.

Why? Simple: violence sells.

People are drawn to violence in films, television dramas, books, professional wrestling and boxing, and reports of crime and warfare. Does violence do more than sell, however? Do media portrayals of violence beget violence in the streets and in the home?

It seems clear enough that there are connections between violence in the media and real

violence. In the 1990?s, for example, audiences at films about violent urban youth such as Colors, Boyz N the Hood, and Juice have gotten into fights, shot one another, and gone on rampages after the showings. The MTV cartoon characters, Beavis and Butt-head, who comment on rock videos and burn and destroy things, may have been connected with the death of a 2-year-old and a burned room in Ohio. The victims 5-year-old brother, who set the blaze that killed the 2-year-old,

had begun playing with fire after he observed Beavis and Butt-head to say that fire is fun. A few more examples are shown on the picture to the left (Leland 47). Obviously, these are just a few isolated incidents. If everyone acted this way after watching violence then we would really have a problem.

Children are routinely exposed to murders, beatings, and sexual assaults just by turning on the television set. The public is wary of it, of course. Psychologists, educators, and parent groups have raised many questions about the effects of media violence. For example, does media violence cause real violence? If there are causal connections between media violence and real violence, what can parents and educators do to prevent the fictional from spilling over into the real world?

Media violence affects children through observational learning, disinhibition, increasing arousal and priming aggressive thoughts, and desensitization. The Mean World Syndrome, which suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may begin to believe that the world is as mean and dangerous in real life as it appears on television, and hence, they begin to view the world as a much more mean and dangerous place, is another way in which media violence affects children (Murray 9).

Children learn from observing the behavior of their parents and other adults. Television violence supplies models of aggressive ?skills. Acquisition of these skills, in turn, enhances children?s aggressive competencies. In fact, children are more likely to imitate what their parents do than heed what they say. If adults say they disapprove of aggression but smash furniture or slap each other when frustrated, children are likely to develop the notion that aggression is the way to handle frustration. Classic experiments have shown that children tend to imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television, whether the models are cartoons or real people. In one such experiment, a child watches a film where an adult beats up on a life-size doll. The child is then put in a room with the same doll and is observed. The child almost always beats up on the doll in the same ways as seen in the film.

The expression of ?skills? may be inhibited by punishment or by the expectation of punishment. Conversely, media violence may disinhibit the expression of aggressive impulses that would otherwise have been controlled, especially when media characters ?get away? with violence or are rewarded for it. 73% of violent acts in programs went unpunished (?Telecommunications: Clinton Backs Antiviolence Chip? 536).

Media violence and aggressive video games increase viewers? levels of arousal. In the vernacular, television ?works them up. We are more likely to engage in dominant forms of behavior, including aggressive behavior, under high levels of arousal. Media violence has cognitive effects that also prime aggressive ideas and memories. Media violence provides scripts.

or ideas on how to behave in situations that seem to parallel those they have observed.

Desensitization suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to violence in the real world around them, less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and more willing to tolerate ever-increasing levels of violence in our society. We become used to, or habituated to, many stimuli that impinge on us repeatedly. Repeated exposure to television violence may therefore decrease viewers? emotional response to real violence. If children come to perceive violence as the norm, their own attitudes toward violence may become less condemnatory and they may place less value on constraining aggressive urges.

The question repeatedly arises as to whether media violence should be curtailed in an effort to stem community violence. Because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, current restraints on media depictions of violence are voluntary. Films, perhaps, are more violent than they have ever been, but television stations now and then attempt to tone down the violence in shows intended for children.

Still, our children are going to be exposed to a great deal of media violence. If not in Saturday morning cartoon shows, then in evening dramas and in the news. Or they?ll hear about violence from friends, watch children get into fights, or read about violence in the newspapers. Even if all those sources of violence were somehow hidden from view, they would learn of violence in Hamlet, Macbeth, and even in the Bible. Thus, the notion of preventing children from being exposed to violent models is impractical. We might also want our children to learn some aggressive skills so that they can defend themselves against bullies and rapists.

What, then, should be done? First of all, consider whether we are overestimating the threat. Although media violence contributes to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically trigger aggressive behavior. Many other factors, including the quality of the home environment, are involved. A loving, comfortable home life is not likely to feed into aggressive tendencies.

In conclusion, it is parents? and educators? responsibility to inform children that the violent behavior they observe in the media does not represent the behavior of most people. Also, the apparently aggressive behaviors they watch are not real. They reflect camera tricks, special effects, and stunts. Another important thing to tell children is that most people resolve conflicts by nonviolent means. Since it is impossible to censor television because of first amendment rights and television is a small contributor to real-life violence, parents should concert their efforts towards spending time with their children and actually watching a violent show with their children and discussing in depth what is being shown. If children consider violence inappropriate, they will probably not act aggressively, even if they have acquired aggressive skills. For in the words of Andrew Greeley. Music, film, and television reflect behavior rather than cause it. (C2)

If I had known all this years before, maybe my brother wouldn?t have a headache all the time and my dog?s head wouldn?t be facing the wrong way.

Media violence essays

MegaEssays.com Media violence

Media Violence
Here is something no one will dispute: The American media contains a high degree of violence. Movies, television sitcoms and other programs as well as cartoons use violence for entertainment and to hold our attention. Musical lyrics that glorify and condone violent behavior and criminal acts are numerous. And of course, many video games are inherently violent, it is not just put there to grab attention, it is the purpose. (By video games I mean computer games, Nintendo, play station, gameboy, arcades— anything where you are playing on a screen.)
But all that is just normal right? Just part of life and entertainment, it does not really affect us, right? Apparently it does. However, not everyone agrees on how much and why. For this discussion I will limit myself and speak only about television.
Many different psychologists haves theorized about what determines personality and I choose to discuss three of those theories, or approaches. The Social-Cognitive approach to personality emphasizes experiences and their interpretations as the great influences on personality. Nurture, environmental factors and experiences, along with their perceptions shape the growth and development of someone’s personality. There are three ways this can happen. One, by learning that specific events or behaviors are followed by other occurrences, is known as classical conditioning. Two, by learning that certain behaviors are followed by certain consequences. This is called operant conditioning. Finally, the third major way we allow the environment to influence us is called observational learning, also known as modeling. This is when we observe and imitate (model) the actions of others. All of these are worth noting when examining the affects of media violence, but I feel this last one is of great importance.
Young children are very impressionable and fact and fantasy basically mean the same thing to them, especially on T.V.

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Social Learning Theory Discussion

Social Learning Theory: Discussion points

Nature versus nurture, ethics, behavioural psychology - what are the key discussions surrounding Social Learning Theory? Get tips for your essays with our analysis here.

The Bobo Doll experiment

The original Bobo Doll experiment is regarded as a classic study demonstrating the strength of observational learning. As it was conducted as a highly controlled laboratory experiment it can be commended for its standardisation e.g. the inclusion of the aggression arousal condition and the matched design of conditions. This control also helped to increase the internal validity of the study and allow cause and effect relationships to be established i.e. the direct impact of the IV (aggressive vs. non-aggressive model) on the DV (aggression imitated by the children). However, the study has not escaped criticism, particularly regarding the artificial nature of the experiment. It was conducted in a laboratory environment, therefore is lacking in ecological validity and the findings cannot necessarily be generalised to how SLT operates in real life. Many have argued that the Bobo doll is not a suitable stimulus material to base the experiment around. This is because it has been designed to be hit and bounce back and thus when children display this behaviour is it really measuring their aggressive behaviour or just measuring expected play with this type of toy? Another limitation of the experiment concerns the behaviours of the models that were observed by the children. It would have been very difficult to completely standardise what the children witnessed and they may all have observed slightly different aggressive acts, thus becoming a confounding variable in the results. Further concerns include the fact that children are highly susceptible to demand characteristics and when placed in an unfamiliar environment would have looked for cues as to how to behave with the Bobo doll, perhaps increasing the likelihood that they would imitate the behaviour.

Essays related to the Bobo doll experiment Ethics

Research into the SLT, particularly the role of observational learning in aggression, has been criticised for its possibly unethical approach. For example, in Bandura’s original experiment the children were deceived, when they were told that the good toys were being reserved for the other children. They were also possibly subjected to harm because witnessing an adult behave aggressively in an unknown situation could have been distressing for some of the children. There are also more long term implications of taking part in the study to consider. The children in the aggressive model condition may have created a mental representation that aggressive behaviour is acceptable and continue to display aggressive behaviour after the study.

As always, with research conducted on children, there are issues with informed consent. Despite parental consent, did the children fully understand what was going to occur during the study and understand their right to withdraw at any point from the research? Due to these ethical concerns it would be much more appropriate to conduct natural experiments investigating children that are already showing high levels of aggression and what environmental influences they have been exposed to. However, this approach to research also carries limitations, concerning the lack of control and the inability to establish cause and affect relationships.

Essays on ethics in psychology Nature/nurture debate

This is a long-standing debate in psychology about the origins of behaviour. The nature side of the argument would argue that we are born with the innate ability to perform certain behaviours and these are inherited from out parents. Conversely, the nurture argument would argue we learn behaviour as we grow. The behaviourist approach and SLT are very strongly associated with the nurture side of the argument. With regards to the learning of aggressive or pro-social behaviours, children are exposed to role models in their environment at home or in the media and these are the strongest influences on what behaviour they exhibit themselves. Bearing this is mind, SLT can be used positively to change environmental influences and ultimately change the behaviours that children imitate. For example, if a child is exposed to a parent swearing or smoking it is likely they will copy this behaviour but if the parent engages in cooperative and helpful behaviour this is the behaviour the child will learn.

Essays related to nature v nurture Practical applications of research

As mentioned above, the SLT has many practical applications that can reduce negative behaviours like aggression and the development of phobias. For example, Patterson et al. (1982) studied a group of children, aged between 3-12 years old, who had all exhibited social aggression and were all receiving specialist help for their problem behaviour. It was found that parents of these children had modelled aggressive behaviours e.g. by physically punishing their children and had also reinforced their children’s negative behaviours by rewarded them or giving it to them when they exhibited temper tantrums etc. The parents were taught how to be more positive role models and how to positively reinforce good behaviour rather than rewarding bad behaviour. The training the parents received was rated as highly effective by them and demonstrates the positive impact that appropriate parenting can have on children’s learnt behaviours. It also highlights how easily the environment can be manipulated to result in a more positive outcome. The highly popular TV programme ‘Supernanny’ bases itself on the same principles proposed by the SLT.

SLT also has implications for the effects of media violence on children. The introduction of the watershed and age restrictions on films and computer games can help to reduce children’s exposure to inappropriate and possibly violent content. As well as introducing more positive role models in children’s TV programmes helping to increase the likelihood of pro-social behaviours being imitated and being encoded as more suitable social behaviours.

Psychology of Social Learning Theory

Реферат Violence On The Tube Essay Research Paper

Violence On The Tube Essay, Research Paper

Violence on the Tube

One Saturday morning many years ago, I was watching an episode of the ?Roadrunner? on television. As Wile E. Coyote was pushed off of a cliff by the Roadrunner for the fourth or fifth time, I started laughing uncontrollably. I then watched a ?Bugs Bunny? show and started laughing whenever I saw Elmer Fudd shoot Daffy Duck and his bill went twirling around his head. The next day, I pushed my brother off of a cliff and shot my dog to see if its head would twirl around.

Obviously, that last sentence is not true. Some people believe that violence on the tube is one of the main factors that leads to real-life violence, but in my opinion, television is just a minor factor that leads to real-life violence and that it is the parents responsibility to teach kids the difference.

According to Rathus in Psychology in the New Millennium, observational learning may account for most human learning (239). Observational learning extends to observing parents and peers, classroom learning, reading books, and learning from media such as television and films. Nearly all of us have been exposed to television, videotapes, and films in the classroom. Children in day-care centers often watch Sesame Street. There are filmed and videotaped versions of great works of literature such as Orson Welles? Macbeth. Nearly every school shows films of laboratory experiments.

But what of our viewing outside of the classroom? Television is also one of our major sources of informal observational learning. According to Sweet and Singh, viewing habits range from the child who watches no television at all to the child who is in front of the television nearly all waking hours. They say that on average, children aged 2 to 11 watch about 23 hours of television per week, and teenagers watch about 22 hours per week (2). According to these figures,

children spend less time in the classroom than they do watching television. During these hours of

viewing, children are constantly being shown acts of violence.

Why? Simple: violence sells.

People are drawn to violence in films, television dramas, books, professional wrestling and boxing, and reports of crime and warfare. Does violence do more than sell, however? Do media portrayals of violence beget violence in the streets and in the home?

It seems clear enough that there are connections between violence in the media and real

violence. In the 1990?s, for example, audiences at films about violent urban youth such as Colors, Boyz N the Hood, and Juice have gotten into fights, shot one another, and gone on rampages after the showings. The MTV cartoon characters, Beavis and Butt-head, who comment on rock videos and burn and destroy things, may have been connected with the death of a 2-year-old and a burned room in Ohio. The victims 5-year-old brother, who set the blaze that killed the 2-year-old,

had begun playing with fire after he observed Beavis and Butt-head to say that fire is fun. A few more examples are shown on the picture to the left (Leland 47). Obviously, these are just a few isolated incidents. If everyone acted this way after watching violence then we would really have a problem.

Children are routinely exposed to murders, beatings, and sexual assaults just by turning on the television set. The public is wary of it, of course. Psychologists, educators, and parent groups have raised many questions about the effects of media violence. For example, does media violence cause real violence? If there are causal connections between media violence and real violence, what can parents and educators do to prevent the fictional from spilling over into the real world?

Media violence affects children through observational learning, disinhibition, increasing arousal and priming aggressive thoughts, and desensitization. The Mean World Syndrome, which suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may begin to believe that the world is as mean and dangerous in real life as it appears on television, and hence, they begin to view the world as a much more mean and dangerous place, is another way in which media violence affects children (Murray 9).

Children learn from observing the behavior of their parents and other adults. Television violence supplies models of aggressive ?skills. Acquisition of these skills, in turn, enhances children?s aggressive competencies. In fact, children are more likely to imitate what their parents do than heed what they say. If adults say they disapprove of aggression but smash furniture or slap each other when frustrated, children are likely to develop the notion that aggression is the way to handle frustration. Classic experiments have shown that children tend to imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television, whether the models are cartoons or real people. In one such experiment, a child watches a film where an adult beats up on a life-size doll. The child is then put in a room with the same doll and is observed. The child almost always beats up on the doll in the same ways as seen in the film.

The expression of ?skills? may be inhibited by punishment or by the expectation of punishment. Conversely, media violence may disinhibit the expression of aggressive impulses that would otherwise have been controlled, especially when media characters ?get away? with violence or are rewarded for it. 73% of violent acts in programs went unpunished (?Telecommunications: Clinton Backs Antiviolence Chip? 536).

Media violence and aggressive video games increase viewers? levels of arousal. In the vernacular, television ?works them up. We are more likely to engage in dominant forms of behavior, including aggressive behavior, under high levels of arousal. Media violence has cognitive effects that also prime aggressive ideas and memories. Media violence provides scripts.

or ideas on how to behave in situations that seem to parallel those they have observed.

Desensitization suggests that children who watch a lot of violence on television may become less sensitive to violence in the real world around them, less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, and more willing to tolerate ever-increasing levels of violence in our society. We become used to, or habituated to, many stimuli that impinge on us repeatedly. Repeated exposure to television violence may therefore decrease viewers? emotional response to real violence. If children come to perceive violence as the norm, their own attitudes toward violence may become less condemnatory and they may place less value on constraining aggressive urges.

The question repeatedly arises as to whether media violence should be curtailed in an effort to stem community violence. Because of constitutional guarantees of free expression, current restraints on media depictions of violence are voluntary. Films, perhaps, are more violent than they have ever been, but television stations now and then attempt to tone down the violence in shows intended for children.

Still, our children are going to be exposed to a great deal of media violence. If not in Saturday morning cartoon shows, then in evening dramas and in the news. Or they?ll hear about violence from friends, watch children get into fights, or read about violence in the newspapers. Even if all those sources of violence were somehow hidden from view, they would learn of violence in Hamlet, Macbeth, and even in the Bible. Thus, the notion of preventing children from being exposed to violent models is impractical. We might also want our children to learn some aggressive skills so that they can defend themselves against bullies and rapists.

What, then, should be done? First of all, consider whether we are overestimating the threat. Although media violence contributes to aggressive behavior, it does not automatically trigger aggressive behavior. Many other factors, including the quality of the home environment, are involved. A loving, comfortable home life is not likely to feed into aggressive tendencies.

In conclusion, it is parents? and educators? responsibility to inform children that the violent behavior they observe in the media does not represent the behavior of most people. Also, the apparently aggressive behaviors they watch are not real. They reflect camera tricks, special effects, and stunts. Another important thing to tell children is that most people resolve conflicts by nonviolent means. Since it is impossible to censor television because of first amendment rights and television is a small contributor to real-life violence, parents should concert their efforts towards spending time with their children and actually watching a violent show with their children and discussing in depth what is being shown. If children consider violence inappropriate, they will probably not act aggressively, even if they have acquired aggressive skills. For in the words of Andrew Greeley. Music, film, and television reflect behavior rather than cause it. (C2)

If I had known all this years before, maybe my brother wouldn?t have a headache all the time and my dog?s head wouldn?t be facing the wrong way.