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Violence in Electronic Media - Essay Example

There are many positive effects of the media too, but the ratio of the negative effect is more. We need to find ways to optimize the role of media in our society and also need to understand how to reverse the negative effects into positive ones. Keywords: Media, Children, aggression, India. Introduction One of the notable changes in our social environment in the 21st century has been the saturation of our culture and daily lives by the mass media.

Unfortunately, the consequences of one particular common element of the electronic mass media have a particularly detrimental effect on children’s well being. It Is now not Just kids in bad neighborhoods or with “bad” friends who are likely to be exposed to bad youth now in their very homes. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (PAP), “Children are influenced by media-they learn by observing, imitating, and making behaviors their own” (2001, p. 1224).

The influence of media on children has been the subject of increased attention among parents, educators, and health care professionals. Definitions: Scientific versus General Public In psychology, aggression is a well-defined scientific concept. Human aggression researchers define aggression as (a) a behavior that is intended to harm another individual, (b) the behavior is expected by the perpetrator to have some chance of actually harming that individual, and (c) the perpetrator believes that the target individual is motivated to avoid the harm (e. . , Anderson & Bushman,Bibb; Baron & Richardson, 1994; Borrowing, 1993; Gene, 2001). Violence typically is defined by behavioral scientists as physical aggression that is so severe that the target is likely to suffer serious physical injury. Media violence refers to media depictions of aggressive and violent behavior directed at characters in the media story. Those characters can be human or nonhuman, cartoonist or visually realistic. Fictional, unrealistic, or animated violence is still considered violence if it meets the above definitions.

Aggression can be further defined by its various forms. In direct aggression, the victim can easily identify the aggressor, whereas in indirect aggression the victim cannot easily identify the aggressor (Bookstores, Steersman, Awakening, 1992; Bushman & Anderson, 1998; Crick & Garrotter, 1995; Lagniappes, Bookstores, Appleton, 1988; Lagniappes & Bookstores, 1992). Aggression can be further divided into physical, relational, and verbal aggression, with the distinctions defined by the method of intending harm.

The general public tends to use the word “aggression” in a broader way than aggression researchers, such as using it to mean assertive, confident, or energetic behavior. From a strictly scientific view, any use that does not fit the definition of aggression as a behavior with the three features outlined earlier is incorrect; these differences in usage lead to much confusion between aggression scientists, public policymakers, and the general public.

Is the television and other media that we watch exerting some kind effluence, is it Just one of many influences, or is it a mere reflection of the society we live in? The influence of media has been studied over and over, producing results that reflect differences in behavior in individuals, in whole societies, and in whole countries. Scholars have put forth many views on media influence. Multiple studies have been performed over decades, many with an emphasis on people respond to the viewing of violence.

When “entertainment” violence is marketed to children – as it is every day through television, video games, movies, music, toys and other media it is neither innocuous nor harmless. The scientific consensus is clear: “The conclusion of the public health immunity, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children,” according a Joint Statement signed by representatives of six public health in July 26, 2000 and presented to Congress.

This Statement was signed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Family searchers to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus, almost every public health and education organization has now developed a Policy statement warning about the dangers of marketing media violence to children.

And while most of the long-term research has focused on television violence – which is a passive viewing of violence preliminary studies indicate that the negative impact of interactive violence may be “significantly more severe than that wrought by television, movies or music,” according to the Joint Statement. The Impact of media on children and adolescents Effects of the mass media have been found to be overreaching and potentially harmful in influencing the health-related behaviors of children and adolescents, many of whom are not yet mature enough to distinguish fantasy from reality, particularly when it is presented as “real life. This is particularly important for very young children who developmentally think concretely and are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. Furthermore, time spent with media decreases the amount of time available for pursuing other more healthy activities such as sports, physical activity, community service, cultural pursuits, and family time. One has only to turn on the TV to observe the growing proliferation of violent and aggressive content in today’s media. A regular offering includes daytime talk shows, some of which are characterized by blatant emotional, psychological, and physical abuse by panel guests toward each other.

WAC (World Champion Wrestling) is viewed by a growing number of Americans, many of whom include young children and adolescents who watch along side of their parents. Network news is littered with graphic renderings of murders, kidnappings, traffic accidents, international war scenes, and the like of which violence is the key component. Prime time TV sports a number of shows that promote violence as a sanctioned means for settling conflicts. The good guys kill the bad guys, most often with an arsenal of weaponry that has become a commonplace possession for today’s TV characters.

How does all of this affect our children? What do we know about the impact of TV violence on our children’s values, attitudes, and behavior? Actually, we know a lot. There is a growing body of research that has tackled these very questions, and the results are in. TV violence can negatively effect our children on a number of levels. Let’s begin with some general statistics, and then I will review the main research that has been conducted along with their findings. MEDIA AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS Children, who observe (in the media or in the environment around them) others exhibiting a specific aggressive behavior, e. . Hitting, are more likely to perform the same aggressive behavior immediately. Exposure to media violence has been positively related to subsequent aggressive behavior, ideas, arousal, and anger. Additionally, there is a significant negative effect of exposure to violence on bequest helping behavior. Infrequent exposure is not likely to produce lasting consequences, but parents, particularly need to be urged to protect their children against the kinds of repeated exposures that excessive play with violent video games or immersion in violent TV programs is likely to produce.

Ray, et al. From India performance and its impact on their psychosocial adjustments was detrimental. Another study from India showed that vivid display of violence through media (9/1 1 terrorist attack) caused stress in adolescents. Yam, et al. Described that some of the ears, tensions, bad dreams and tendencies towards delinquencies of children are a result of frequent and a regular exposure to murder-mystery movies, and stories filled with violence and torture that children view on TV and movies. Association between TV viewing and suicidal behavior has also been reported primordial.

Both content exposure and screen time of media had independent detrimental associations with school performance in children and adolescents. Hop, et al. Showed that the more frequently children view horror and violent films during childhood, and the more frequently they play violent electronic games at the ginning of adolescence, the higher will these students’ violence and delinquency be at the age of 14. Primacy, et al. Showed that excessive TV viewing in adolescence is a risk factor for development of depression in young adulthood.

TV viewing may play an exacerbating, if not causal, role in the development of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADD). This hypothesis is consistent with evidence indicating that children with ADD watch more television than their peers and experience significant impairments in comprehending stories, a crucial skill in achieving academic success. While Zimmerman, et al. Ported that any deleterious longitudinal relation between television and cognitive outcomes may be more salient among children with ADD, Achieved Apalachicola, et al. Observed no effect.

Thus, a more careful examination of the relation between television viewing and children’s cognitive abilities are needed. TELEVISION VIEWING AND SOCIAL ISOLATION Pick ham, et al. Investigated the relationship between TV viewing time, content, context, and peer integration. As children spend more total time watching TV, they spend a significantly shorter amount of time with friends as compared to those who onto. Thus, viewing television causes poor peer relationships and thereby increases the risk for social isolation, anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and antisocial behavior, including aggression and gang involvement.

Some authors found that the more time children spent watching TV, the less time they spent with their families. While TV may isolate children, the reverse causal direction is also plausible – lonely children may turn to TV for entertainment and companionship. Children who are marginalia by their peers use TV to escape the stresses of their lives and meet their social needs. Conversely, children who are socially integrated spend less time watching TV. Thus, it can be argued that it is social isolation that motivates excessive media use.

Overall, it is most likely that both effects occur – children who watch more TV become more socially isolated, which leads them to spend more time watching TV. While TV viewing is often perceived as an isolating activity, it frequently occurs in the company of friends. Because socializing builds interpersonal skills, TV viewing with friends may provide a venue for these skills to develop. It is important to consider intent whenever investigating the relationships between media use and behaviors. Violent television viewing may influence younger children to be more antisocial; violent media.

To optimize children’s social development and long term mental health, parents, teachers, and pediatricians should discourage the viewing of violent television programs. Effects of Media Violence on Aggression Most of the research and public attention has focused on the important question of whether viewing violence in the media makes children and adolescents more violent. The question is not, of course, whether media violence causes violence, but whether viewing violence contributes to the likelihood that someone will commit violence or increases the severity of violence when it’s committed.

The most direct and obvious way in which viewing violence contributes to violent behavior is through imitation or social learning. There is a wealth of psychological research demonstrating that learning often occurs through imitation, and, of course, most parents know that children imitate televised words and actions from an early age. Media apologists, who cannot deny that imitation sometimes happens, try to argue that the effects are trivial because children know better than to imitate anything hat’s really harmful.

We are all familiar with incidents in which criminal and lethal violence has had an uncanny resemblance to a scene in a movie. However, any crime is the result of many influences acting together, and skeptics and even researchers will point out that isolated anecdotes cannot be generalized to society at large. Because most children are so fully immersed in our media culture, it is usually difficult to link a specific media program to a specific harmful outcome, even though some similarities between media scenarios and subsequent acts seem too close to be considered coincidences.

Once in a while researchers get the chance to conduct a “natural experiment” that makes a vivid and compelling point in a systematic and rigorous fashion. This happened in the mid sinning Israel, shortly after World Wrestling Federation was introduced to Israeli TV. Noting news reports that this program had resulted in a crisis of playground injuries in schools, Daft Limits of Tell Aviva University conducted a nationwide survey of elementary school principals, with follow-up questionnaires of teachers and students in selected schools.

What Limits found was that more than half of the principals responding to her survey Ported that WFM-type fighting had created problems in their schools. The principals had no trouble distinguishing the imitative behavior they were suddenly seeing from the martial-arts type behaviors that had occurred prior to the arrival of WFM. The new behaviors occurred during re-creations of specific wrestling matches that had aired, and included banging heads, throwing opponents to the floor and jumping onto them from furniture, poking their eyes with fingers, pulling their hair, and grabbing their genital areas.

Almost half of the responding principals reported hat these new behaviors had necessitated first aid within the school, and almost one fourth reported injuries(including broken bones, loss of consciousness, and concussions) that required emergency room visits or professional medical care. Although most of the children involved were old enough to know that the wrestling they were watching was fake, this knowledge did not stop many of them from trying out the moves themselves. The mayhem continued throughout Israel until schools initiated media literacy programs designed to counteract the program’s effects.

During the past few years, there have been news reports of groups of hillier imitating WFM matches in the United States, and of physicians dealing with the consequences of such imitation on a regular basis. Decades of research and hundreds of studies substantiate the negative effects of media violence on children, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry also concludes that viewing media violence can produce distress, emotional anesthetizing to violence, loss of empathy for victims and the view that violence is an acceptable means for dealing with problems.

But the relationship between media violence and violence in children and adolescents is employ, according to Media Awareness. Co relational studies don’t necessarily indicate the direction of the causal relationship between media and children’s violence. For example, children who are inclined to be violent might be drawn to violent video games and television programs. However, studies seem to indicate that, at least under certain circumstances, media violence can affect children and adolescents.

Research Findings 1} There are a number of studies that have linked the viewing of TV violence with aggressive behavior. One of the earliest and most well-known studies was conducted by Bandeau in 1963. He had a group of children view a TV video of a model who kicked and punished an inflated plastic doll. After the viewing, the children were placed in a playroom with other children who had not seen the video. Those that saw the video displayed significantly more aggressive behavior than those who didn’t.

A second study (Libber & Baron, 1972) confirmed Bandanna’s findings. This study investigated children’s willingness to hurt other children after viewing aggressive TV programs. Two groups of children watched a different TV program, one of which had aggressive content and one of which was neutral. Those who saw the aggressive program (The Untouchables) were found to be more willing to hurt another child after viewing the program than those who watched the neutral program (a track race).

Several other studies found that the same held true for viewing violent cartoons, and additionally that children were less likely to share their toys after viewing violent cartoons. One of the most convincing studies compared the incidence of aggressive behavior among children both before and two years after TV was introduced into the Canadian community where they resided Coy, Kimball, Kickback , 1986; Williams, 1986). There was a significant increase in both physical and verbal aggression after two years of viewing TV.

What’s important about this study is that it was easier to isolate the variable being tested, which was the effect of TV, since television had never previously been available to these children. Other studies have focused more on the question as to whether all children have the same reactions to TV violence. For a long time, it was believed that only certain types of children and adolescents were adversely affected by violent programming. These are termed high trait aggressive individuals, or those whose personalities are hardhearted by aggressive tendencies.

These children seem to be aroused (or excited) by aggression. As such, they seek out aggressive television programming more than other children and are at the same time more prone to be adversely programming four times as often as low aggression children (Singer & Singer, 1986). These same children have also been found to be more prone to aggressive behavior toward other kids as a result of viewing televised violence. Most researchers agree that aggressive children and adolescents are more prone to the negative effects of TV violence than those who are not aggressive.

However, many studies such as the Canadian study show that all children are susceptible to harm from exposure to TV violence. Moreover, the harm is much greater for children who are preadolescence, especially those younger than eight years of age. This is because children younger than eight still may have some difficulty in separating fantasy from reality. Further, these children have not yet developed enough abstract thinking to be able to evaluate what they see and measure it against reality. They are more in what I call the “sponge” stage.

That is, they tend to soak up what they are exposed to rather Han analyze and evaluate their exposure and experience. One study was able to make an important link between heavy viewing of TV violence by 8-year-olds with serious criminal behavior by the same group at the age of 30 (Houseman, Iron, Leftwing & Waller, 1984). At the same time, this correlation did not hold true for 18- year-olds who preferred TV violence, I. E. , the 18-year-old group did not display any significant increase in aggressive behavior resulting from viewing violent programming.

This study verifies that younger children are likely to experience more rebound negative effects from viewing TV violence, especially a steady diet of it, than are older teens who have some capacity for evaluating what they see and for distinguishing fantasy from reality. The final finding has do to with the effects of chronic exposure to TV violence as opposed to the occasional viewing. According to a study conducted by Bushman (1998), it has been found that when we view violent programming, we store in memory a perceptual and cognitive representation of the event. That means we can draw it up in our thoughts, and also visually.

Then when e are in a real situation that is similar to the memory we have stored (the violent vignette we saw on TV), that memory is activated and the memory or script becomes available to us. This fits in with the research on 8 year-old-boys. At a much later age, the violent vignettes they had stored in their memories were pulled up and activated when they were adults and influenced their behavior. They were in fact more aggressive. Bushman’s research takes this a step further. He believes that chronic exposure to TV violence results in chronic accessibility to these stored memories, which he calls “primed aggressive constructs.

In other words, the more exposure to TV violence, and the younger the child, the more harm done. 2} Media violence and its effects on children was the first area in which extensive scientific research was done. In 1972 the Office of the Surgeon General conducted studies on media violence and its effects on children who viewed it. The conclusions of these studies were confirmed and extended by studies performed at the National Institute of Mental Health in 1982. Three years later, the American Psychological Association (PAP) published a report that reaffirmed the previous studies.

A landmark report of Edie influence on children was published by the PAP in 1999. The study was done by the Committee on Public Education, and presented in their policy statement of August 1999. In July 2000, at a Congressional Public Health Summit, the PAP, the Psychiatry, and the PAP issued an unprecedented “Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children. ” Speaking for members of the national public- health community, the statement presented a consensus opinion on the effects of violence in the media on children.

The Joint statement, however, included an interesting and important distinction that addressed the context of violence in the Edie, stating: “It is not violence itself but the context in which it is portrayed that can make the difference between learning about violence and learning to be violent. ” With the important caveat in mind, the overwhelming consensus of the aforementioned studies was that there is substantial evidence that exposure to violence in the media has harmful effects on children and has been linked to children’s aggressive behavior.

Violence in interactive media forms (Internet, computer and video games) as opposed to passive media forms (television, movies, videos) may have even stronger effects on children and, as a result, has become a Ochs of new research. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, “children are theoretically more susceptible to behavioral influences when they are active participants than when they are observers. To further legitimate these concerns, the PAP reported that initial studies of interactive media show that the element of child- initiated virtual violence may result in even more significant effects than those of passive media. Because research has already shown that passive media violence has significant influence on children, the implications of increased effects from interactive media are troublesome. Despite the research reports, there was debate between television broadcasters and scientists regarding the harmful effects of television violence on children.

Broadcasters asserted that there was not enough evidence to link viewing television violence to children’s aggressive behavior. Scientists, nevertheless, stood by their research findings. Conclusion In conclusion, media violence has many unhealthy effects on children and adolescents. Even though violence has been and will continue to be a staple of our media environment, it is appropriate to speak out when especially problematic reservations are aired in contexts in which children are likely to see them and when inappropriate programming is actively marketed to vulnerable young people.

Although the entertainment industries are mostly concerned with profits, they sometimes react to large-scale criticism, and sponsors and local television stations prefer to avoid public censure. Beyond complaining about media practices, researchers and advocates for the welfare of children can work to diminish the negative influence of media violence by providing better public education about media effects, by developing and promoting more useful content labels and filters, ND by exploring effective intervention strategies based on research findings.