PSYA4: Addictive BehavioursSessions 12-13:The role of the media in addictivebehaviours
Starter List five different forms of media Give at least three ways that messagespromoting addictive behaviour could betransmitted through the media. Give at least three ways that messagespreventing addictive behaviour be transmittedthrough the media. Name a psychological approach that isrelevant to media influence on addictivebehaviour
Different forms of Media Film TV programmes Radio broadcast Newspapers and magazines Internet Campaign Leaflets Posters (Advertising Hoardings)
Aims & Objectives…AIMS:OBJECTIVES:1)To examine research into the portrayalof addiction in the media, including film,advertisements and health campaigns2) Evaluate the above research in termsof supporting/refuting research3) Provide synoptic links (at least three)
Films-Activity List at least three films where addictivebehaviour has been portrayed What was the addictive behaviour? Was it realistically portrayed? Were the positive or negative effectsemphasized? Do you think the films had any influence onthe opinions and behaviours of the audience
Trainspotting…QuickTime™ and adecompressorare needed to see this picture.
Film and AddictionGunasekera et al (2005) Content analysis of 87 of the top 200grossing films in the last 20 years Recorded sexual activity (including STDprevention), birth control and drug use Use text book to write down the specificfindings of the study (454)
Film Sulkunen (2007) Looked at 140 scenes from 47 films depictinguse of alcohol, drugs, smoking, gambling andsex Films about drug users like Trainspotting(1996) and Human Traffic (1999) presentedscenes of drug competence and enjoyment ofthe effects which was often contrasted withthe dullness of ordinary life Q: What type of reinforcement Is this?
Evaluation (AO2)To what extent do these films have an impact onsociety? Some evidence does suggest that they do. E.g.Dalton et al (2003) showed a positive correlationbetween adolescent exposure to smoking in moviesand the likelihood of starting to smoke. However,there are issues here with causality… Sargent and Hanewinkel (2009) surveyed 4384adolescents (11-15). Exposure to movie smokingover the subsequent year was strong predictor ofwhether they began to smoke a year later…
AO2 Studies are correlational and somewhatreductionist. A more holistic approach isimportant in considering influences onaddiction, such as… Boyd (2008) argues that films do frequentlyrepresent the negative consequences ofalcohol and drug dependence, therefore… There is an important discussion about freewill and determinism relating to mediarepresentations of addiction (elaborate..)
Advertising and MediaCampaigns Health Campaigners use television and theinternet in an attempt to raise awareness andprevent the number of addictions taking placeto begin with. Campaigns and health promotion can also beimplicitly delivered by through the plots of TVor radio soap operas, where the audiencetends to identify better with the charactersinvolved, such as plots about addiction inHollyoaks, aimed at young people.
Research Bennett et al(1991) evaluated the effect of aBBC TV series on alcohol use entitled ‘Pssst,the Really Useful Guide to Alcohol’. Viewersof the series were compared to controls whodid not watch the programme. The results showed an improvement inalcohol related knowledge, but they did notshow a change in attitudes to drinking or alowering of consumption.
TV (research) Kramer et al. (2009) assessed theeffectiveness of a five week TV interventionself-help designed to reduce problem drinkingcalled ‘Drinking Less? Do It Yourself!’ The intervention group was more successfulthan a control group in achieving a low-riskdrinking pattern. The effect was still prevalentafter three months.
Activity-The third PersonEffect Use the text book (page 456) to outlineresearch into the ‘Third Person Effect’(Youn et al. (2000)) What is it and outline how it affectsmedia campaigns Evaluate the research giving threepoints
Internet TV and internet has been used to warnUK teenagers about the dangers ofcocaine using a fictional dog called‘Pablo’ (see clips)… The dog seeks out cocaine users to findout what negative things happen tothem after taking the drug.
AO2 Bennett (1991) - little change in actual behaviourdespite raising awareness following BBCs ‘Pssst,the Really Useful Guide to Alcohol’. Kramer et al.(2009) study - (Drinking Less TVseries) can be criticized as there were importantdifferences between the control and interventiongroup. The intervention group had weekly visits.This extra attention may have resulted in a positiveoutcome for the group. Also the ‘waiting list’ controlgroup was aware that it would receive treatmentsoon and so might have delayed changingbehaviour producing a false difference between thetwo groups
Evaluation Hornick et al. (2008) argues that expensiveanti drug media campaigns in the US havenot worked for two reasons: Giving the same message that young peoplehave heard many times before (lack ofnovelty) Advertising giving an implicit message thatdrug use was common-place and so actuallypromoting things like marijuana use withyoung people thinking it was the norm(conformity effect)
Overall Research on media effects is inconclusive Relationship between advertising andaddictive behaviour is correlational (no causeand effect) There could be different media effects fordifferent addictions Can you think of a debate that would beappropriate?