The Effects of Violence in Media on Society Today Refinance now homeowner even if you have bad credit. 185 loc The Effects of Violence in Media on Society Today Is societies violence the medias fault? This is the question that has been asked since before television was in every Americans house. Of course there are the different types of media today ranging from newspapers, to on-line reports and stories. There have been arguments upon arguments about this issue, and over 3,000 studies conducted. Unfortunately there isnt one single result, there is only an array of supposed answers to this undying question.
CBS president, Howard Stringer is pointing to a different scapegoat for societys violence. “I come from a country .. that puts a lot of American movies on and has more graphic violence within its live drama on the BBC than anywhere else, and there is a lot less violence in the United Kingdom than there is here. There are 200 million guns in America, and that has a lot to do with violence.” He feels it has to do with gun control, which others have suggested. But there are so many violent acts, that one cant focus on the guns, just like one cant focus on the media.
David Phillips, one of the men we discuss later put it perfectly, “Its like watching rain fall on a pond and trying to figure out which drop causes which ripple.” There have been many studies conducted on the effects of violence on children, and on the effects on society as a whole. There have been about 3,000 studies performed on this topic. Two of the most prolific studies were the UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Report, and the Mediascope, Inc. test sponsored by the National Cable Television Association. Of course there were many other studies done, but these made headlines because of their results.
The UCLA study focused on all of the television media, and discovered some interesting facts from their study. Prime Time Series raised the least concern. Theatrical films raised more concern and had a lot more violence. The Saturday morning cartoons had mixed reviews. 23% of the cartoons raised concern, but that was only rating the most popular cartoons: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, X-Men, etc.
They termed the action in cartoons as “Sinister Combat Violence” which basically means the whole story line leads to violence. Mediascope, Inc. focused on the amount and context on cable, effectiveness of rating systems and parental advisories, and the success of anti-violent messages. They found that perpetrators go unpunished in 73% of all violent scenes, one out of four violent interactions involved the use of handguns, and premium cable channels present the highest percentage of violent programs (85%). There was more to their findings, but these were the more prevalent findings. University of Michigan psychologists Dr.
Leonard Eron and Dr. Rowell Huesmann conducted a study, which continued for decades. This was conducted beginning in 1960. They took 800 eight-year-olds and found that children who watched many hours of violent television tended to be more aggressive in the playground and the classroom. They checked back with these kids 11 and 22 years later.
They found the aggressive eight-year-olds grew up to become even more aggressive. They testified before congress in 1992 stating, “Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, of both genders, at all socioeconomic levels and all levels of intelligence. The effect is not limited to children who are already disposed to being aggressive and is not restricted to this country.” David Phillips, a scientist at the University of California in San Diego conducted a study on prizefights on television. He thought of this topic, because he felt there wasnt enough research being conducted on the copycat violence. He found that after prize fights on television, there would be about a 10 percent increase in murders for a few days afterwards.
He quoted, “It also seems to be the case that the kind of person killed just after the prizefight is similar to the person beaten in the prize fight.” There are four major theories of television violence. The “arousal” theory, the “social learning” theory, the “disinhibition hypothesis,” and the “catharsis hypothesis.” These four hypothesis/theories are old and new conclusions to the question at hand. It is notable to see that some of these theories were stated as early as 1961. Most would have to disagree with these theories just because of the age of their births, but to most peoples surprise they still hold in the 21st century. The arousal theory is basically self-explanatory. This was theorized by P.H.
Tannenbaum in 1975. He said exposure to television violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation, or”arouses” viewers (Tannenbaum & Zillman, 1975). This is also being found in the recent studies, which shows the progression in the medias will to change. The “social learning” theory was described by Dr. Bandura.
This theory says ways of behaving are learned by observing others, and that this is a major means by which children acquire unfamiliar behavior, although performance of acquired behavior will depend at least in part on factors other than acquisition (Bandura, 1973). A perfect example of this theory was when the murders occurred after the prizefights. The “disinhibition hypothesis” was L. Berkowitzs investigation. This hypothesis explains that television violence in certain circumstances will result in increased interpersonal aggression because it weakens inhibitions against such behavior (Berkowitz, 1962).
The final theory, “catharsis hypothesis” was written by S. Feshbach. This theory explains that under certain conditions exposure to television violence will reduce subsequent aggression (Feshbach, 1961). What this is saying is that if someone sees a fantasy on TV, or now with technology, entertains themselves with virtual reality, that fantasy is fulfilled, which makes them not feel they have to do that in real life. So many people have discussed the topic of media effecting society, from Aristotle to the President of CBS. It has always been a question, but never as needy for an answer as now.
Hopefully the government has some say in this soon, so the drama of centuries will finally be over. But that probably wont occur anytime soon. Aristotle was a big supporter of “catharsis.” He believed that the audience became psychologically involved with the story on stage, even though they knew it was 100% fiction. He felt when aggression climaxed with the actors, there was a “catharsis” in the audience, which was pleasurable to experience and left the audience “cleansed, uplifted, and less likely to act violently among themselves.” Sigmund Freud also felt as Aristotle did by saying, “Unless people were allowed to express themselves aggressively, the aggres …