The copycat Theory

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Information on the Copycat Theory, in relation to media audiences.

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The copycat Theory

  1. 2. <ul><li>Copy Cat or Modelling Theory: The copycat theory relates to something which is publicized in the media that creates a lot of attention, resulting in other people to imitate, or ‘copy’ this in order to gain the same level of attention. The well known example of this is copycat murders, suicides and other violent acts that come with no other motive other than attention, caused by seeing the same acts in the media, be it film, television or books. </li></ul><ul><li>Audience react differently to various situations as they have different interpretations. An individual perceives a form a behaviour described or portrayed by a character in media content </li></ul><ul><li>The individual judges this behaviour to be attractive and potentially useful for coping with some personal situation </li></ul><ul><li>The reproduced behaviour proves useful or effective in coping with the situation thus, rewarding the individual </li></ul><ul><li>With model use, the behaviour becomes habitual for that situation </li></ul><ul><li>Copycat effect - you do what you see </li></ul><ul><li>Centres for disease control and prevention recommendations- 1994 They began telling news media how to portray news media about suicide to prevent copy cat </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>It has been shown that most of the persons who mimic crimes seen in the media (especially news and violent movies) have in most cases prior criminal records, prior severe mental health problems or histories of violence suggesting that the effect of the media is indirect (more affecting criminal behaviour) rather than direct (directly affecting the number of criminals). [2] </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Copycat 1995 </li></ul>Copycat is a film about a serial killer, who brutally kills a police officer. He’s been copying similar techniques of killing, to that of other serial killers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsmXhM4yfU0
  4. 5. <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Outrageous and shocking article was published in The News Of The World. This really shows how Media has an affect on the portrayal and representation of teen mums. A staggering 12 girls got pregnant at the same time period and most of them were under the age of 16 and attended St Andrews RC School, which is quite worrying, however Media has the tendency to make events look more horrific and exaggerated than they really are. Last night one parent blasted: “It’s outrageous — half the school must have been at it like rabbits.” Some staff within the school blame the Media for encouraging such behaviour and influencing the girls to get pregnant: ''Staff at the school blamed Hollywood films such as Juno for glamorising teen pregnancies.'' This shocking story mirrors the events that happened in Massachusetts where a pact was made between 17 girls at a Catholic School to fall pregnant at the same time so that they can raise their children together. One thing that they did not think about was the havoc and the media frenzy that they have caused. In relation to this films such as Juno may be getting negative publicity due to the girls careless actions, which to an extent may not have even been influenced by the film. It could simply be argued by many people that teenagers nowadays are out of control. Even though Media plays some sort of part in encouraging sexual behaviour that leads to careless and unplanned teen pregnancy, it is really the girls decision to participate in such things. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Write a 2000 word essay based on your favourite horror film, and describe how it relates to media theories  </li></ul>

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