Media Voilence Essay

Media violence Media violence has been an ongoing issue and a major talking point for over three decades. There have been numerous debates whether media violence is considered a problem and if it actually causes real-life aggressive behaviour. It is believed that media violence is seen to have a crucial barring on how an individual may behave whether it is socially or mentally. Biological factors also come into account in media violence situations.

Important factors like the amount of media violence the individual is being subdued to, how extreme the content may be and whether the individual is still developing mentally also determines to an extent of how an individual behaves long term and short term. Media violence comes in various forms such as TV violence, Movie violence and video game violence. The purpose of this literature review is to distinguish how media violence affects behavior based on the three main factors ‘bio-psycho-social’. This will be established with four text reviews. Video games are thus great teachers and great motivators, but they can be misused. But it is society, not science, that must decide how to deal with the negative effects of violent video games. ‘ (Anderson 2004, p. 4). Anderson’s (2004) literature is clear and useful towards parents in the concept of media violence. Anderson discusses in his text how violence in the media affects children in a social perspective. Anderson focuses on video games and emphasises how many may believe it is either ‘For good or ill’ (Anderson 2004, p. 4).

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Anderson believes the content of video games is the key and decides whether it is good or ill. As children mature they develop mentally and physically, when exposed to media it is inevitable they learn and take in what they see. Factors like how often children are exposed and what they are being exposed to also plays a major role. Anderson identifies video games as worse than TV shows and movies in terms of violence. ‘In a violent video game the player has to identify with the aggressor – you become the aggressor, the character whose actions you control. (Anderson 2004, p. 3). Anderson believes constant interaction with violence and being rewarded for violent behavior effects an individual mentally and socially, developing children begin to believe it is correct or good to be violent towards others. Anderson urges parents and guardians to have someone with experience to demonstrate the video game and to have a close look at the content determining whether it is suitable or not. ‘Most parents cannot play it well enough to get to the really good stuff’ (Anderson 2004, p. ). Therefore Anderson’s perspective on media violence is seen through a social/environmental approach. ‘As media technology has advanced, the amount of time that children and adolescents spend with it has increased. ’ (Anderson 2003, p. 178). Throughout the modern day technology has advanced rapidly and is available in many forms. Anderson, (2007) explains how media is easily accessible to children, which means mentally they are more frequently focused on media violence.

The text by Carnagey, N. L, et. al, (2007) provides a clear and excellent view on media technology through a biological perspective based on the use of neurocognitve tools including event related brain potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging which is based on the examination of the interaction between neural and mental functioning. Recent developments in neuroscience have made it possible to analyse the effects of media violence and its connection to aggressive behaviour.

This can be related back to the biological level of analysis as this idea stems from research of the brain to determine outcomes based on altered behaviors and attitudes with relation to aggression. A research study within this text emphasizes a direct connection between neurological functions and the effects of media violence exposure. The results also suggest that exposure to violent video games was associated with decreased amplitude of the p300. Therefore throughout this literature review it clearly seen that social and biological factors are the main aspects associated with media violence.

Anderson (2007) discusses in his article how video games can affect a child’s behavior depending on its content. Anderson explains how it is up to society not science to help prevent violent video games. Video games can be educational to the extent where youngsters learn to condition there diabetes, but on the other hand it can also be quiet influential with violence causing children to become aggressive. Anderson emphasis how it is up to society to manage the level of content and how often children are exposed to it to help prevent aggressive behavior from media violence.

Anderson also discusses how high level of exposure to media violence is one of the ‘risk factors’ (Anderson 2007, p. 24). Anderson discusses high risk factors as the link to causing extreme criminal acts. High risk factors are made up of history of violence, certain mental disorder and certain family background. These are biological factors, when a child is exposed to multiple of these risks they often commit serious crimes. High level of exposure to media violence is only one of these risk factors, suggesting if a child is exposed to media violence it does not necessarily mean they will commit murder.

Other factors come into play (Anderson 2007, p. 24). Anderson strongly urges to his viewers and parents around the world to replace violent video games with educational ones, and furthermore believes the video game industry should be ashamed and take more responsibility for producing such harmful content to children. Accurate scientific input should be established and further debate is required (Anderson 2007, p. 24). Potter (2003) discusses in his text how a significant amount of individuals in society believe they have not been affected by media negatively.

Potter believes that the majority of these individuals has a narrow view and is blinded by feeling secure. They refuse to accept the possibility of feeling aroused by violent media. Potter discusses how many individuals follow the crowd, in other words follow the stereotypical view and social aspect of fitting in. Potter emphasizes how negative affect by media is inevitable and at one stage or another an individual will experience it in a self perspective. Potter also explains how individuals feel when seeing others at risk of negativity making them feel as if they are free, they hide in the despair of others.

This is a biological and environmental factor. Potter also discusses how a biological factor triggers the stimulus when he explains ‘ dissipate within minutes-such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure’ (Potter 2003, p. 33). This is known as timing of effect, short term effect making it easier to observe by researchers. This text explains the environmental and biological aspects of media violence in great depth, explaining how different views on how media violence affects behavior. To conclude this literature review, it has been clearly proven that media violence affects behaviour in numerous ways.

The bio-psycho-social paradigm emphases how these factors play a major role in media violence and its relation to behavior? Through the four texts analysed above, it has clearly shown media violence is a problem. Society plays a significant roll in helping prevent violent video games, it is up to the members and parents of society to control and raise debate towards inappropriate content. However, although media violence has been established to affect behavior, it is not always the case in some situations and other factors come into play such as biological and environmental.

Reference list •Anderson, C, 2004,’Isuues in Parenting education ‘, Young Media Australia, Victoria •Anderson, C, 2007, ’The video game industry has been lax in its responsibilities’, BBC Focus, 18 September, pp. 24 •Carnagey, N. L, Anderson, C. A and Bartholow, B. D, 2007,’Media violence and social neuroscience’, Psychological Science, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 178-182 •Potter, W. J 2003,’Myth 1- Violence in the media does not affect me, but others are at high risks’, in The 11 myths of media violence, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications


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