Tv Violence and Aggressive Behaviour in Children Essay Example
Tv Violence and Aggressive Behaviour in Children Essay Example

Tv Violence and Aggressive Behaviour in Children Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1330 words)
  • Published: September 27, 2017
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There are many influences on the developing child which originate from the outside the immediate family structure (Murray, 1985). One of these influences is television. Since the 1960’s there has been much debate focusing on the impact of violence on television on the aggressive behaviour in children.

It will be shown in this essay that a relationship exists between television violence and aggressive behaviour in children. Evidence from Bandura’s “Bobo Doll” experiment and from an experiment conducted by Stein and Friedrich will be examined and subsequently reviewed in this essay.This will be followed by discussion of some important issues related to the experiment findings and opinions on how one should manage this potential problem will be considered. Bandura, Ross and Ross (1963) conducted an experiment to determine the cause and effect relationship between television/film violence and aggre


ssive behaviour in children. The experiment used ninety-six subjects consisting of forty-eight boys and forty-eight girls with a mean age of 52 months.

The subjects were divided into three experimental groups and one control group consisting of twenty-four subjects in each.The first experiment group observed real-life models portraying aggression. The second group observed these models portraying aggression on a film, while a third group viewed a cartoon depicting a character acting aggressively. The fourth group served as the control group for the experiment and they had no exposure to any of the aggressive models.

Prior to the experiment, all subjects both experimental and control, were subjected to mild aggression arousal to insure that they were under some degree of instigation to aggression.The subjects in the three experiment groups viewed either a real-life model, a film depicting a real lik

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model or a character in a cartoon acting aggressively towards the “Bobo” doll. The aggressive acts directed to the doll included kicking, punching, using a mallet to strike the doll and sitting on the doll. Following the exposure experience, the experimenter took the subject into another room which contained a variety of highly attractive toys. The experimenter then explained that the toys were for the subjects to play with, however as soon.

As the subjects became sufficiently involved in the material, the experimenter remarked that these were her very best of toys and that she did not let just anyone play with them and that she had decided to reserve these toys for the other children. However, the subjects could play with any of the toys in the next room. The next room contained variety of toys that could be used aggressively and non-aggressively. The aggressive toys included the “Bobo” doll, a mallet, a peg board and two dart guns. The non aggressive toys consisted of a tea set, crayons, and colouring paper, a ball, two dolls, three bears, cars and trucks.The toys were placed in a fixed order for all the sessions.

The experimenter then observed the behaviour of the child playing with the toys through a one-way mirror and ranked the child’s behaviour according to the levels of aggression displayed. The results of the study provided strong evidence to suggest that the exposure to filmed aggression heightens aggressive reactions in children. The subjects who viewed the aggressive real-life models and cartoons models exhibited nearly twice as much aggression than did the subjects in the control group who were not exposed to any of the

aggressive film content (Bandura, Ross & Ross, 1963).The findings that children modeled their behaviour to some extent after the observed models suggests that television and more broadly pictorial mass media may serve as an important source of social behaviour (Bandura et al. ,1963). Another experiment conducted by Stein and Friedrich (1972) presented ninety-seven preschool children with a diet of either anti-social, pro-social or neutral television programs during a four-week program.

The anti-social viewing diet consisted of twelve episodes of a program which stressed themes such as the sharing of possessions and cooperative play.The neutral viewing diet consisted of programs which were considered to be neither anti-social or pro-social. This group served as the experiment’s control group. The experiment did not detail the group sizes or the genders of the subjects The children were observed for a nine week period, which consisted of two-week observational period of the behaviour of the children prior to the viewing of the television programs, four weeks of television exposure, and two weeks of a post-viewing follow up of the behaviour of the children to determine the effects of the television viewing.The observations recorded consisted of the various forms of behaviour that could be regarded as pro-social such as helping, sharing, cooperative play and behaviour which could be regarded as anti-social such as pushing, arguing, breaking toys. Overall, the results indicated that the children who were judged to be initially mildly aggressive became significantly more aggressive as a result of watching the anti-social cartoons.

Alternatively, the children who had viewed the pro-social programs were less aggressive and more cooperative and willing to share with the children. The results of this experiment support

the claim that there is a link between television and aggressive behaviour. Bandura’s observational learning theory emphasized that a learner observing a model does not perfectly acquire an exact replication of the model’s behaviour.The learner instead acquires a more generalised idea that captures the important components – a schema (Matlin, 1999). In other words, when a child watches its favourite television actors/characters behaving violently on screen, the child may identity with these characters and their actions and under appropriate conditions may be inclined to mimic them without the knowledge of their repercussions (Gunter and McAleer, 1990). This theory is supported by the results of both Bandura’s and Stein and Friedrich’s experiments.

In short, children who are frequent viewers of television violence learn that aggression is a successful and acceptable way to achieve goals and solve problems (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1990 as cited in Smith 1993). Ways in which this potential problem could be managed is if the parents play a substantial role in monitoring what programs their children watch. Ways of ensuring this is if the parents sit down with their kids and watch an episode of one of the children’s program.If the parent notices a situation m which could be considered violent, parents should discuss this with their children and explain to them how the behaviour is incorrect. (Violence on Television-What do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do? , 2005) In this essay, it has been argued that there is a link between television violence and aggressive behaviour in children.

Throughout this essay, evidence in the form of experiments which supports this claim were reviewed. The results of he experiments

examined provided strong evidence to suggest that exposure to filmed violence heightens aggressive reactions in children. Given that the children in the experiments examined modeled their behaviour to some extent after character in the films they watched, this suggests that television and more broadly mass pictorial media may serve as an important source of social behaviour. In conclusion, according to the evidence reviewed, a link exists between television violence and aggressive behaviour in children. REFERENCES Bandura, A. ,Ross, S.

1963). Imatation of Film-Mediated Aggressive Models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,66,3-11. Eron, L.

, Huesmann, L. ,Lefkowitz, M. & Walder, L. (1972).

Does Television Violence Cause Aggression? American Psychologist, 27,253-263. Gunter, B & McAleer, J. (1990). Chapter7: Does TV influence aggressive behaviour? in Children and Television :The One Eyed Monster? Londen: Routledge. Matlin, M.

(1999). Psychology. Third Edition. Harcpurt Brace Publishers. Murray, J. (1985).

Children and television – what do we know? In burns, A. ,Goodnow, J. Chisholm, R &Murray, J. (Eds) Children and Families in Australia: Contemporary Issues.

Sydney:Allen & Unwin. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1990). NAEYC position statement on media violence in children’s lives.

Young Children. 45, 18-21 as cited in Smith, M. (1993). Television violence and behaviuor: A research summary.

ERIC Digest. Violence on Television-What do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do? American Psychological Association. Retrieved April 25, 2005 from http://www. apa.

org/pubinfo/violence. html.

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