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  1. 1. Media Psychology Media influences on pro and anti social behaviour.
  2. 2. Mediums of communication Television internet radio Newspapers letters telephones Media gossip Facebook twitter magazines
  3. 3. Why study media What is media? Why the interest in studying media psychology! Because it influences our behaviour in so many ways and advertisers have always spent so much time and money to alter our behaviour. Name some aspects of our lives that are effected by mass media?
  4. 4. How does media influence us? The need to fit in i.e. fashion trends  Social acceptance  On trend   In season  Reality shows e.g. big brother, I’m a celeb, x factor  Jade Goody  Unites the world – US election 
  5. 5. St Helena…….. 1995 ‘the change’ Island airs good news on TV for children. Complete the questions as further and deeper reading, for homework. What do you think of Professor Charlton’s views?
  6. 6. No man is an island Feelings age work politics gender Viewer curiosity current affairs School boundaries finances Teachers Parents relationships education sexual preference morals genre Peers culture
  7. 7. Media influences on antisocial behaviour. According to Eron (1992), and Huesmann et al. (2003), there is no doubt that violence on TV has negative effects on children. There have been many theories and studies done to test this claim, Grimes et al (2008). Public opinions suggest the same time and time again, Cumberbatch (2009). The ‘third person effect’ is also common among many, even the 10 yr olds who think that they themselves are immune but others are effected by –ve effects of media, Andsager and White (2007). Although to our loss, researchers are only able to establish links and explain in retrospect Huesmann et al (1984) 22 year longitudinal study.
  8. 8. Explanations of media influence on anti social behaviour observational learning-modelling behaviour after observation e.g. Bobo Dolls Evaluation - cultural differences, ethnocentric Lack of research support inconsistent  Cognitive priming-once you watch something violent it stays in your memory and it can be recalled in another aggressive situation  Desentisitization- having watched so much violence in media you become desensitized e.g. if you watch a lot of violence in media you may become desensitized to it in real life 
  9. 9. Research Belson (1978) – sleeper effect A very reputable study which controlled 236 variable. List what some of these could be. sleeper effect-Hopf et al. (2008) Mass media can take any child away from any family Active viewer Slater et al (2003) looked at ‘sensation seeking’ this being one major relationship between media and anti social behaviour.
  10. 10. Children and media violence Long term effects study, Belson (1978). Evaluation The inconclusive case for media violence effects  The nature of the audience  Methodological problems with media violence research  Desensitization.
  11. 11. Media influence on Prosocial behaviour Our consumption of television varies from around 7 hours to 25 hours per week in the western world. In this exposure children do get a fair amount of prosocial messages also. There are altruistic and sympathetic messages being televised but they appear in the context of anti social behaviour overall. In children’s TV there are 44.2 acts of prosocial behaviour on average in an hour. Greenberg et al (1980)
  12. 12. Parasocial behaviour In a study by Howard and Roberts (2002), there is a strong evidence of parasocial behaviour. These acts of parasocial behaviour maybe seen as ‘micro-level prosocial tendencies’, Penner et al. (2005). Hodge and Tripp (1986), argue that children learn important and complex structures of meaning and develop capacities for thinking and judgement that are necessary part of socializing.
  13. 13. SLT If the expectation of reward is better than the punishment then the children will observe and later imitate the behaviour. In order for the child to imitate the behaviour, the child needs to have internalized the social norms and therefore can then associate the act with the expectation of social reinforcement, the child is motivated to repeat these actions in their own life.
  14. 14. Developmental trends in prosocial influence It may be difficult for young small children to recognize the messages portrayed by the TV, as it is difficult for them to understand abstract messages. Older children may pick up on these better. Evaluation Exposure to prosocial behaviour- children do learn prosocial acts from TV Hearold (1986), and Mares (1996). Problem arises though when the children cannot generalize from the specific act seen on the screen to new and different situation…..
  15. 15. Evaluation…. Eisenberg (1983) Although short lived initially but long term exposure to filmed models can have a substantial and enduring increases in children’s prosocial behaviour. Developmental trends can be better seen in adolescents than in smaller children as these children are egocentric and the older children may have a better understanding of the underlying principles of the prosocial messages, Roker et al. (1998).
  16. 16. Research on media influence on prosocial behaviour Mares (1996) 4 different categories of prosocial behaviour were added to her analysis, spread over 39 studied, following are the main findings: 1. Children who viewed +ve interactions tended to act +vely in their own interactions, relatively, the effect size was moderate 2. For altruism the direct association from situation to situation allowed the children to be altruistic, the effect size was small where the situation required generalization.
  17. 17. Research….... 3. Where there was a demonstration of self control the children showed more self control in the own behaviour in comparison to those who observed antisocial models. Effect size was moderate for neutral content and large with anti content, 4. Those children who observed counter stereotyping demonstrated less evidence of stereotyping in their own attitudes. 5. For children to observe and imitate a behaviour thereafter it seems that it is crucial that they are shown a direct contrast with clear justification.
  18. 18. Concluding….. It seems that in small children, girls are more likely to be affected by the prosocial messages. Primary school children were more affected in comparison to the older children. It can also be concluded that if behaviour is to be altered, the TV content needs to be subject specific because as with anti social behaviour, it can be generalized readily but prosocial behaviour needs to be situation specific.
  19. 19. The effects of video games and computers The research into this field remains highly controversial and inconclusive. Anderson et al (2007) did research the link but the results were cursory (hasty and not thorough). Read Gentile et al (2004). Again results are somewhat a ‘stab in the partly lit’. Physiological affects The viewing of violent media content was measured with the physical effects (ACC activity and aggression) via the fMRI and realised that this does have a significant impact on humans, especially boys.
  20. 20. Evaluation  Unsubstantial claims- you must read it to enjoy it fully. Well done! Cumberbatch (2004).  Should they be banned? Well, it seems that the data gathered is unsubstantiated therefore it is not possible to conclude and substantiate a ban on this basis alone.  Can video games be cathartic (the process of releasing pent up emotion)?
  21. 21. Persuasion, attitude and change TOPIC 2. Learn from sheets, 253-255 Book pages 416- 425.
  22. 22. Overview TOPIC 2 The Hovland Yale Model (Hovland et, al. 1953). 1. The source 2. The message 3. The audience 4. The context The evaluation: more learning from credible, high status, charming attractive and same sex source. Two sided arguments for less intelligent and one sided argument for more intelligent viewers. Greater attitude change with higher audience participation.
  23. 23. Elaboration- Likelihood Model 1.Central route-high ability to elaborate. 2.Peripheral route-low ability to elaborate. Evaluation Low ability to elaborate produces weaker attitude to change due to poorly thought out decision ELM supported by ‘attitude change’ studies, that vary the quality of arguments and exposure time to messages.
  24. 24. Elaboration Likelihood Model
  25. 25. Influence of attitudes on decision making. The role of cognitive consistency/dissonance Festinger(1957) The uncomfortable/unpleasant feeling/arousal that you feel when faced by two conflicting cognitions. you can reduce dissonance by:  Changing attitudes and behaviour by reducing dissonance  Distracting oneself with unrelated behaviour eg drinking alcohol. you can increase dissonance by:  Anti smoking campaigns e.g smoking kills in inconsistent cognitions: ‘I smoke’ and ‘smoking kills’.  Statements like, ‘only you can make the change’ and ‘you can quit’. Evaluation You can introduce dissonance to increase more positive attitudes. Even pro-attitudinal behaviours can cause dissonance if it has unintended –ve consequences Strongly affected by the individuals self perception.
  26. 26. The effectiveness of television Psychology and advertising We need to focus on the ‘effectiveness’ of adverts in changing our behaviour. Hard sell:- focus on the product Soft sell:- focus on the consumer, Both these have different effcts on different consumers.
  27. 27. Role Of Self Perception The role of self perception is an explanation of attitude change. Those in the position of affecting decision making and behaviour (advertisers or governments) try to use persuasion tactics and to change attitudes and find that roles of cognitive consistency/dissonance and self- perception, are useful features to take into account.
  28. 28. Role of self perception….. Bern (1965). p. 421. There are a variety of theories on the role of self perception in dissonance and attitude change. 1. Self-inconsistency-inconsistency between one’s thought and one’s actions 2. Self-affirmation-people want +ve feedback even when wrong 3. Self standards- behaviour that breaks our standards 4. The over-justification effect our way of internally justifying our behaviour. Evaluation Self perception theory, Bern (1965), suggests that people infer their attitudes from their behaviour so no dissonance occurs, Impression management theory, Tedeschi et al., (1971) Attitude change results from the desire to appear consistent.
  29. 29. Explanations of the attraction to celebrity The Mass Media give us the illusion of having a face to face relationship with the performer. Horton and Wohl(1956). ‘I love Brad Pitt’ ‘I think she is too thin’, statements like these are put out there as though they can hear us. The media treat the news of the celebs as real T.V. news, Ashe and McCutcheon – by design the T.V. news has come to resemble celebrity gossip. The media coverage of the celebs has for many, replaced the ‘legitimate’ news.
  30. 30. Para-social relationship… A para-social relationship is assumed- a one sided ‘relationship’ whereby one person knows a great deal about the other person and feels intense affection for them, yet the recipient of the affection may not be aware of that person’s existence, for example a person feeling that they have a personal and an intimate relationship with this person due to frequent apperances of this person on T.V.
  31. 31. Research on Para-social r’ship Instigated by McQuail et al. (1972), commented on our emotional attachment with the soap opera characters. They also added as we may base our own r’ships on what we learn from T.V. Schiappa et al. (2007) meta analysis:p426. We do not then see that the celebs behave like us or imitate life but we see it that we must imitate the imitated behaviour.
  32. 32. Evaluation…  Are Para-social r’ships dysfunctional?-Rubin et al. (1985) cast doubt on the fact that Parasocial r’ships are based on dysfunctional loneliness, they saw it as Jo Blogg seeing the celeb as an equal so that they can rely upon some companionship.  Are para-social relationships real?They are in the sense that they can lead to attitudinal and behavioural changes.
  33. 33. The ‘Absorption-addiction model’ and body image Maltby et al. (2005) Leaving the viewer with the desire for unrealistic and unattainable body shape. McCutcheon et al.(2002) When the viewer has a compromised identity structure they look to celebs and psychologically absorb with the celeb in order to establish an identity. Evaluation: adolescents are affected.
  34. 34. Evolutionary explanations of the attraction of celebrity We prefer creative individuals, neophilia. More creative potential matesWe look for music art and humour in our mates- Miller (1998). Or love for the celebs is just an extension our love for these characteristics, this is why we are drawn to those who display these. When these skills are magnified by their repetitive display in our homes on T.V, our attraction increases. Our sexual selection is essential for our mental evolution. We want mental stimulation, we prefer fiction to non-fiction and myth to scientific reality that’s why we prefer artistic/ innovative and creative individuals. Evaluation: Darwin agreed with this claiming that this is how the birds sang their song more effectively and Duck claims that boring relationships do not last in comparison to creative, and fun romantic r’ships.
  35. 35. Celeb gossip In the times gone by, if we come to know intimate details about someone we thought them to be a member of our in- group. Evolution did not teach us to distinguish between the real members of our in-group who actually affect our lives and the images and voices of those with which we are bombarded day and night in our homes. The intimacy between these and us provide the same gossip mechanism. Evaluation: in support of the para-social hypothesis media exposure was a strong predictor of interest in celebs.
  36. 36. Research into intense fandom. Taking the interest in the celebs to the extreme. The entertainment/social - we follow them as a form of entertainment Intense personal- intensive and personal feelings about the celeb- ‘my favourite celeb is perfect in everyway’ Borderline pathological-This is where you see uncontrollable behaviour often full of fantasies about the celebrities.
  37. 37. Continued…. Very few people are pathological: 2% pathological 5% intense personal 15% entertainment social The above have suggested to be dimensions of human personality, Eyesenck (1991) psychoticism, neuroticism, and extroversion respectively.
  38. 38. Star trekkers They are not worshippers nor psychotics but their avid support could be obsessive. The same can be said for the football fans where the obsession is not over one person but a team. So much so that they will have fan clubs to meet and support who they like. Parasocial bereavement is a term used to describe the grief felt upon the death of a celebrity- Diana Princess of Wales.
  39. 39. Evaluation of celeb worship  There is support by Giles 200 and McCutheon et al. 2002 for the existence of the celeb worship.  There is a benefit of having an interest in the celebs as it serves as a social interaction.
  40. 40. stalking There is only one thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. Oscar Wilde. But ‘a course or conduct involving two or more events of harassment causing fear, alarm or distress’