Positive, according to Baron & Byrne (2004) includes being “nice” and saying sincere things to others. They further state that compliments, praise, congratulations and positive evaluation are almost guaranteed to cause pleasure. Passer & Smith (2004) explain that positive influence can be further cemented through positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement, they explained, occurs when a response is strengthened by the subsequent presentation of a stimulus. This stimulus can be food, drink, attention, praise or money. Etsy & Fisher (1991) as cited in Santrock (2004) confirm that positive behaviour can be learnt through television and that television can have positive influences on children’s development by presenting motivating educational programmes, increasing children’s information about the world beyond their immediate environment and providing models for prosocial behaviour.
Television also can teach children that it is better to behave in positive, prosocial ways than in negative, antisocial ways according to Leifer (1973) cited by Santrock (2004).
Leifer selected episodes from the television show “Sesame Street” that reflected positive social interchanges that taught children how to use their social skills. Leifer uses, for example, in one interchange, two men were fighting over the amount of space available to them; they gradually began to cooperate and to share the space.
... affects that TV has on the children are not positive. Weighing the pro's and cons of television comes to a very unbalanced ... negative. People who watch violent television as children behave more aggressively even 15 years ... . How does television affect the children that are between the ages of ten and sixteen? Could the affect be positive or is it ...
Children who watched these episodes copied these behaviours, and in later social situation they applied the prosocial lessons they had learned. These findings were confirmed by Bandura’s Observational Learning as cited in Woolfolk (1995) where he states that observational learning, also called imitation or modelling. Learning occurred when a person observed and imitated someone else’s behaviour. He further states that the capacity to learn behavioural patterns by observation eliminated tedious trial and error learning and that observational learning took less time than Operant conditioning.
This statement by Bandura was confirmed by Passer & Smith, in an experiment done by Joyce Sprafkin and her colleagues at the State University of New York (1975).
They investigated whether children behaved more helpful after watching prosocial models on television. The authors also examined whether a specific act of helping modelled during the television programme to enhance children’s prosocial behaviour, or whether merely watching a popular prosocial “action hero” would produce the same effect. The investigation was done on 15 girls and 15 boys selected randomly from several first grade classes at a suburban school in New York, Long Island. The students were divided into groups where the controlled group watched the television shows Lassie and the Brady Bunch. The other group selected the television programmes of their choice reinforcing the idea that children will model helpful behaviour. The result of the investigation showed that the group that viewed Lassie and the Brady Bunch demonstrated helpful actions than the group that did not viewed these programmes.
A report that was taken from Sporting News (1985) cited in Passer & Smith confirm that television can also have negative influences on children. The report stated that a Judge in New York City prohibited two teenage brothers from watching professional wrestling on television because they were becoming violent. The report further stated that the boys vigorously practised body slams and choke-holds, repeatedly injuring one another. Their frightened mother reported to the police that her 13 year old son tried to apply a “sleep – hold” on her as she was cooking in the kitchen. Fortunately, she broke free before losing consciousness. The Judge told the mother that she had to prohibit the boys from watching wrestling or he would have the family’s TV set removed and the boys might be placed in foster homes.
... about 12, 000 violent acts witnessed on television (Television... Children). After a child has witnessed a violent program, they tend ... aggressive or harmful ways towards others (Violence on Television). Children become physiologically aroused and express impulses during and ... period than did a control group (Television... Children: Boyatizis, 1995). As children grow they are able to distinguish between ...
Negative as defined in the Collins English Dictionary is lacking positive qualities. Santrock (2008) alludes to the fact that television viewing can have negative influences. Santrock further states that fewer developments in society in the second half of the twentieth century had a greater impact on children than television had. Many children spend more time in front of the television set than they do with their parents. He further stated that although it was only one mass medium that affected children’s behaviour, television was the most influential.
According to Passer & Smith (2004) many movies, as well as fiction and non fiction television programmes, are saturated with violence. Passer & Smith continued to explain that according to the psychodynamic theory, movie and television violence should be a cathartic pot of gold. Passer & Smith claimed that exposure to television and movie violence was related to the tendency of children, adolescents, and adults to behave aggressively. Passer & Smith gave the example where American children who watched greater amount of television violence were more likely than their peers to display physical aggression when they became young adults.
Eron (1987) as cited in Santrock states that boys and girls who perceive television violence to be highly realistic and identify strongly with same-sex aggressive television characters are most likely to act aggressively as adults. Passer & Smith confirm that television influences children’s prosocial and antisocial behaviours, as well as their attitudes about race and gender. Chandler (2006) alludes to this statement that said television, among other things, features aggression and violent behaviour. Chandler went on to say that television may influence not only behaviour but also attitudes and beliefs. It was suggested that the effects of television violence vary according to the personal and social characteristics of viewers and according to how violent acts were portrayed.
... know that a correlation exists between violence on television and aggressive behavior in children (Goodwin, 47-48). Research results ... violence viewing on later aggressive behavior (Murray, 4). A relationship has been established between youth violence and television violence ... CO: Julian Messner, 1990. Murray, John P. Children and Television Violence. Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy, 1993 ...
Huesmann, (1997) cited in Passer & Smith points out some avenues in which media violence appears to exert its effects such as:
Viewers learn new aggressive behaviours through modelling.
Viewers come to believe that aggression usually is rewarded, or at least rarely punished.
Viewers become desensitized to the sight and thought of violence and to the suffering of victims.
Santrock describes one of the experiments where preschool children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. In that experiment one group watched Saturday morning cartoon shows with violence over a period of 11 days. The second group watched television cartoon shows over the same period but with all of the violence removed. The children were then observed during play at their preschool. The children who saw the television cartoon shows with violence were observed kicking, choking, and pushing their playmates more than the others who watched nonviolent television cartoon shows. Because the children were randomly assigned to the two conditions (television cartoons with violence versus nonviolent television cartoons), the experimenters concluded that exposure to television violence caused increased aggression in children.
According to Baron (2004) research has found links between watching television violence as a child and acting aggressively years later. One of such studies according to Huesmann (1997) cited in Baron, for example, revealed that exposure to media violence at 6 to 10 years of age was linked with young adult aggressive behaviour. In another study according to Baron, long term exposure to television violence was significantly related to the likelihood of aggression in 1,565 boys who were between 12 to 17 years. Those boys who watched aggressive shows on television were most likely to commit a violent crime, swear, be aggressive in sports, threaten violence toward other boys, write slogans on walls, or break windows. These studies are correlational, and Huesmann concluded that television violence was associated with aggressive behaviour.
... potentially violent situation. Television violence has not diminished greatly; nor have Saturday morning programs for children, marked by excessively violent cartoons, changed much for ... National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) argues that violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior (Methvin 49). This statistic may be very ...
According to Kagan & Segal (1995) watching television can also reinforce sexual stereotypes. Kagan & Segal state that on television, women cook, clean, care for children and try to look beautiful. Men on the other hand are aggressive, adventurous and successful and this stereotyping can deceive the children. Etsy and Fisher confirm Kagan and Segal belief where they state that television can have a negative influence on children’s development. This is done by taking them away from home work, making them passive learners, teaching them stereotypes, providing them with violent models of aggression and presenting them with unrealistic views of the world.
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