The media works with other factors in people’s lives to impact someone’s level of violence. Although it’s only one factor and may not be the most important one, it’s a factor that can be controlled.
It’s one of the multiple, overlapping causes contributing to violence in our society.
NTVS – National Television Violence Study
Sponsored by the cable industry from 1994-1998.
They studied 2700 hours of cable and broadcast TV, all genres included.
How much violence is portrayed on TV?
How is violence portrayed on TV?
NTVS Definition of Violence and what to take into consideration:
Take into consideration: perpetrator of violence, the target, intention, physical vs. verbal, depiction vs. threat.
Violence is any overt depiction of a credible threat of physical force or the actual use of such force intended to harm an animate human being. It also includes depictions of physically harmful consequences that occur from unseen violent means.
Effects of definitions of estimates of violence on TV:
It excludes a lot of things.
“Intention to harm”
excludes verbal abuse
“Animate beings as perpetrators and targets”
excludes natural disasters or hurting non-living things.
Three main conclusions of the NTVS:
Violence is widespread across the TV landscape – 60% of all shows viewed had violence.
There’s been no meaningful change since 1994 in the overall presentation of violence in the media.
Most TV violence is presented in a way that increases the risk of its harmful effects on child viewers.
Sanitized – doesn’t show the real implications of violence. An example of this is someone still fighting after being shot.
Glamorized – viewers don’t see the negative implications of violence or aggression, and don’t see the perpetrator being punished, they suffer no remorse, there’s justification for acting aggressively and no criticism or penalty for violent behavior.
3 Main Effects of Media Violence: learning, desensitization, and mean world-syndrome
Learning: most important effect/worst. It’s learned aggression. More TV leads to an increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior. Also take into consideration vicarious reinforcement.
Desensitization: the more exposure one has to media, the less they’re impacted by it. It’s a defense mechanism that turns the extraordinary into the ordinary in order to avoid fear. Exposure to media violence leads to less physiological arousal and less likelihood to intervene during real-life violence.
Mean-World Syndrome: viewing violence increases the fear of becoming a victim of violence.
Consequences of Mean-World Syndrome
The more TV one watches, the more likely they think their chances are of being a victim of violence.
The heavier TV watchers are more likely to buy security systems.
Increased self-protective behavior and mistrust of others.
Longitudinal Research that support the learning effect:
Childhood TV violence viewing generally led to adult TV violence viewing, and had a strong correlation with adult composite aggression.
Child-peer nominated aggression had a smaller correlation to adult TV violence viewing but led to adult composite aggression.
Video Games and desensitization
Video games lead to desensitization.
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