In researching this paper, I hope to find an answer to satisfy my curiosity as to whether the media is to blame to the extent that Bandura would have us believe or are there other forces accountable. Is it logical to blame media for the escalating violence or is there other forces at play? On one hand Bandura, conducted a study where children saw a film of an adult beating the Bobo doll wildly and then most mimicked that behavior but on the other hand, the results of that study stated 88% of the children copied that behavior, not 100%.
Is there a possibility that aggression could be taught, as Albert Bandura suggests? Is it possible that aggression could be a genetic? Or, is it possible that aggression is tied to some type of mental illness? My hypothesis is that while media may play a role in desensitizing children to aggressive or violent behavior it however, does not create violent or aggressive behavior in children. My first claim is if media violence is related to aggressive and violent behavior then why isn’t everyone violent and aggressive?
Introduction This literature report will help assist in the understanding of how violence within the media contributes to an increase in aggression. In the present, there has been a vast increase in mass media saturation in contrast from the past. This present era of twentieth century society enables television, radio, videos, movies, computer networks and video games to assume central roles in ...
To use Bandura’s Bobo doll study as an example, 88% of the children who participated mimicked the behavior of the models but the other 12% did not. What makes them different? Why were they not manipulated into behaving in the same aggressive manner? Could it be correct to assume that the social learning theory does in fact ignore the biological state, genetic, brain, and learning differences in each of us? C. Ray Jeffery believes that behaviors are biological and not learned. If this is the case, does it mean that some people are just more evolved than others?
Jeffery also believes that behaviors can be passed down from generation to generation, which may explain why children of abusers are likely to grow up to be abusers. His research shows that people do not react the same when witnessing a violent act and that while some may faint, others may vomit, or may have an increased heart rate (Jeffery, 1990: p. 238).
These are all biological responses which are ignored by the social learning theory (Jeffery, 1990: p. 239).
Was the Bobo doll study carried out in a uncompassionate manner or was it immoral?
Camille Wortman and Elizabeth Loftus are among those who have argued that the children used in the Bobo doll experiment were “manipulated, teased, and became frustrated”, they along with other critics of this study also charge that the experiment was unethical and morally wrong and implied the children were trained to become aggressive by allowing them to get agitated without any way to vent their frustration prior to letting them “play” with the Bobo doll. They also charge that as a result of the methods used in the Bobo doll experiment the children suffered from the effects long-term (Wortman & Loftus, p. 5).
If this is true, should the results of the Bobo doll study be considered flawed being that the outcome was manipulated? Is it possible that viewing aggressive acts on television could be a way for children to vent their frustrations without becoming physically violent? The results of a study conducted by S. Feshbach and R. D. Singer proved just the opposite of the Bobo doll. The study used two test groups of boys who were exposed to either a violent or non-violent television over a six-week period.
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The boys who were only shown the non-violent broadcast displayed more aggressive behavior than the boys that were shown the violent shows (Feshback & Singer, 1971: p247).
Moreover, Feshbach’s hypothesis is supported by what is called the Catharsis effect (Gerbner, G. , Gross, L. , Melody, W. H. , 1982: p. 40), which theorizes that the boys were able to vent their aggressive thoughts and feelings though relation and not act those aggressions out physically. So does the Catharsis effect theory that by iewing violence on television, aggressive thoughts can be released hold weight? If media can be held responsible for aggression and violence than shouldn’t it also be praised for bravery and good-deeds in our civilization (Cooke, 1993, p. L19)? There have been countless programs that have demonstrated heroism and kindnesses as there have been those which have demonstrated the ugly side of human nature. Patrick Cooke believed that people went along with the theory that television violence causes aggression because we need to be able to justify the violence and aggression in others.
Cooke also believed that television could be used as an instrument of teaching both in education and forming good role models. He also believed that if violence in TV causes more aggression than it should also be attributed to the good qualities of people. In conclusion, for the following reasons I believe that the Bobo doll study was flawed and therefore, inconclusive. It is stated that the children were agitated prior to playing with the doll and therefore the results were exaggerated. The sample study used was flawed by not using children of different socio-economic backgrounds.
It is not documented what the children’s home life’s were like, nor did it seem to be considered whether the children had prior exposure to violence, abuse, or aggression or for that matter, were already displaying violent or aggressive behavior. There is also speculation that the children in the study were mimicking the behavior of the model because they viewed it as instructions. In later studies, it was concluded that children didn’t automatically mimic aggression and that they actually rationalized the context of aggression.
On one hand parents argue that violence on television causes aggression in their children, on the other hand, media figures, professionals, and figures of authority say ... conclusion that there is a consistent relationship between television violence viewing and subsequent aggressive behavior. Children are more susceptible to the effects of their ...
And lastly, there seems to be some evidence that suggest the media violence could a viable way to let go of some aggression, blow off some steam if you will, in a safe non-physical way. References Cooke, P. (1993, August 14), TV Causes Violence? Says Who? , The New York Times, pp. L19 Wortman, C. & Loftus, E. (1981), Psychology: New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Jeffery, C. R. (1990) Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Approach Prentice Hall, NJ Gerbner, G. , Gross, L. P. , Melody, W. H. (1982), Violence and Aggression, Television and Behavior: Ten Years of Scientific Progress and Implication for the Eighties: General Psychology: NJ
Feshbach, S. , & Singer, R. D. (1971).
Television and Aggression Retrieved May 22, 2013, from APA PsycNET website: http://psycnet. apa. org/journals/bul/96/2/227/ Albert Bandura (1998).
The Social Learning Theory Retrieved May 28, 2013, from FSU Criminology website: http://www. criminology. fsu. edu/crimtheory/bandura. htm Psychology and Your Life (2010) Violence in Television and Video Games: Does the Media’s Message Matter? Wikipedia Media Violence Research Retrieved May 28, 2013 website: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Media_violence_research