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The effects of exposure to violence in media

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 3466 words Published: 10th Apr 2017

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Violence is the use of physical force to injure people or property. Violence may cause physical pain to those who experience it directly, as well as emotional distress to those who either experience or witness it. Individuals, families, schools, workplaces, communities, society, and the environment all are harmed by violence. Violence is a social and health problem for all who experience and witness it. Violence takes many forms, including Family violence, often referred to as domestic abuse, child abuse, child maltreatment, spouse abuse, and wife battering. Other than that, sexual violence, media violence that is the violence that been shown on television, in film. Plus, this era people can see violence through video games and many other examples.

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Research indicates that violent behaviour may have many different causes, some of which are inborn but most of which are learned from experiencing or witnessing violent behaviour by others, particularly those who are role models. (Daniel, 2007) Moreover, media violence can lead to real violence in multiple ways. Watching television violence is an important predictor of aggressive behaviour. Children’s cartoons and music videos in particular often portray violence. American children see about 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on television by age 18. In nearly 75 percent of those cases, punishment is not shown to be a consequence of violent behaviour. (U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 2006)

Nevertheless, a research done by Albert Bandura (1961) found that, if children observe violent behaviour at home, in school, or on television, they may come to believe that turning angry feelings into angry actions is acceptable behaviour. When these children become angry themselves, they will display the behaviours they have observed, and they even may create new angry behaviours that go beyond what they have learned from their models.

1.1Background of the study

Media violence is recognized as a potential contributor to the increase of antisocial attitudes in children and adolescents (Ledingham, Ledingham, & Richardson, 1993). Considerations about media violence go back to the 1920s. At that time the earliest coordinated social scientific research investigation into the impact of media violence began in the western countries. It was intended at studying the harmful impacts of media on society. The development of television as a common mass entertainment and information medium during the 1950s encountered similar concerns about potential harms, especially in connection with young audiences (Gunter, 1994). The most important concern in the debate about media violence has been whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior among viewers (Van Evra, 1990). The relationship between heavy exposure to media violence and later aggressive behavior has been studied for more than thirty years. A large body of experimental and longitudinal research on this question has been evaluated, and it has been determined that there is a link between viewing TV violence and aggressive behavior (APA, 1993). There is also research indicating that heavy exposure to screen violence can cause problems in other domains of social behavior. For example, it can make people become both fearful of the world around them and more accepting of violence in the real life as displayed by others (Singer & Singer, 1980).

Nowadays, many concerns have been raised about the kinds of values and attitudes that may be inculcated by exposure to certain kinds of media content, especially violence in movies (Kubey & Larson, 2005). During the last decade, accusations towards the media have also been made against violent computer and video games, the popularity of which among adolescents is rising (Scott, 2000).

While social scientists work on determining the major causation of violence, such as social environments, cultural factors, family instruction, and group membership (Fraser, 1996; Staub, 1996), parents, teachers, politicians and school administrators continue blaming the media for increases in violence attitudes among adolescents. For instance, school principals, mothers, and young people were surveyed for their perceptions of factors influencing violence among youth. The results showed that violent messages in rap music and violence in the movies are perceived as the factors influencing violence (Kandakai, Price, & Telljohann, 1999, Pryor, Sard, & Bombyk, 1999). Moreover, the results indicated that media violence was perceived to be one of the major causes of violence in 47-54% of the questionnaires. Clearly, media violence is not in itself a sufficient cause of real world violence (Zuckerman, 1996).However, as the numerous studies show, parents’ and school personnels’ concerns about media violence are justified.

1.1.1Attitudes toward Violence

Attitudes toward violence are viewed as having a significant mediating role in the translation of aggressive feelings into aggressive behaviours (Velicer, Huckel, & Hansen, 2003). Furthermore, researchers have identified social attitudes that could be responsible for cultural variations in rates of violence (Cohen & Nisbett, 1994).

It is asserted that attitudes are governed by internal value systems. Person develops his/her attitudes through a complex and particular evaluative procedure based on cognitive and affective reactions to life experiences (Eiser & van der Pligt, 1988).

From a social cognitive approach, attitudes are believed to guide individual differences in social information processing. For instance, beliefs that violence is compulsory to achieve desired results may lead a person to focus more to aggressive aspects of social cues or anticipate positive outcomes for violent behavior (Dodge, 1993). It is commonly admited that attitudes have a significant power on behavior, especially violent behavior (Kxaus, 1995). Relations have been found between specific attitudes and violent behavior in children and adolescents. Huesmann and Guerra (1997) detected that through middle childhood, children’s beliefs that violence is acceptable.

Another study by Vernberg, Jacobs and Hershberger (1999) investigated attitudes about violence as a possible influence on the frequency of commonplace aggression toward peers. The results demonstrated that the relation between attitudes favoring violence and self-reported aggression toward peers was significant in the sample of 1,000 youth. A positive relationship between proviolence attitudes and actual violent behavior has been also found in a sample of youth from juvenile detention and school settings (Slaby & Guerra, 1988). It was found that a belief about the acceptability of aggression was significant and independent predictor of aggressive behavior. Violence related beliefs were related to self-reported violent behavior in a study of low income African American youth. An intervention designed to change violence-related beliefs resulted in decreased aggressive behavior in adolescents incarcerated for violent offences (Guerra & Slaby, 1990). Given that attitudes influence behavioral predispositions, changing attitudes should contribute to behavioral change (Shapiro, Dorman, Burkley, Welker, & Clough, 1997). In turn, this means that attitudes are an appropriate target for violence prevention programs.

Media are believed to be potential contributors to the development of antisocial behavior in children. One can identify several ways that media violence could affect social behavior. First, TV violence could provide the original aggressive scripts which children store in memory. Secondly, TV violence might affect behavior by changing a person’s attitudes or emotional responses to violence. Thirdly, it may arouse a person, which in a short-term may have serious outcomes, for example, physical risk-taking (Potts, Doppler, & Hernandez, 1994). Educators and researchers are especially concerned with children and youth, because their attitudes, beliefs, ideas about the world, as well as social skills, are beginning to take form. Given the fact that children and youth are often exposed to media which “glorify” violence, and that the young viewers are still in very active developmental stages, it is reasonable to argue that there might be a relationship between extensive exposure to violent media and subsequent development of antisocial behavior.

1.2Problem Statement

Although much of the research has focused on exposure to media violence as a factor contributing to antisocial behavior (Groebel, 1998), some effects of media violence have been examined more extensively than others. Woodfield (1989), in her review of the literature, asserted that the major concern has been the causal relationship between TV violence and aggressive attitudes, and there were fewer studies that focused on the cognitive and affective outcomes of exposure to media violence. The same notion was stated by Rule and Ferguson (1986), who declared that there seemed to be “sparse research regarding the relation between media exposure and attitudes toward aggression” (p.39).

Upon reviewing the literature for this study, it has become obvious that research directly investigating the relation between media violence and attitudes has tended to focus on the acceptance of violence toward women (Malamuth & Check, 1981; St.Lawrence & Joyner, 1991). Only a few available studies considered the special effects of exposure to media violence on attitudes toward violence. Furthermore, outcomes of these studies are mixed. Some researchers found that the greater the level of exposure to television violence, the more the child was willing to suggest violence as a solution to conflict, to perceive it as effective, and to become more accepting of violent behavior displayed by others (Dominick & Greenberg, 2001).

Others did not find any significant support for the hypotheses that high exposure to television violence caused adolescents to accept violence as a way to solve their problems, and that exposure to television violence made them more callous in relation to near or distant violence in the world around them (Woodfield, 1989).

Despite the fact that there is little research evidence to confirm attitudinal changes as a result of exposure to media violence, it is a pervasive theme throughout the empirical literature that heavy exposure to violent messages conveyed in the media influences and shapes individual attitudes toward violence in the real world. For example, it is often encountered that heavy viewers of TV/video violence tend to accept violence as a solution to conflicts and perceive it as an effective means of settling disputes (Potter, 1998), that viewers might believe that it is fairly common for people to fight, and that aggression is proper and acceptable in many different real-life situations (Berkowitz, 2001). Thus, more research is needed to test the empirical evidence.

It should also be mentioned that the majority of research presented above was experimental, and it is clear that the results could be different in the natural environment. In addition, research was conducted mostly with children, which makes it difficult to make generalizations on other age groups. Since adolescent boys are the main audience of movies with violent content, and their culture also includes violent computer and video games, often human-directed (Funk & Buchman, 2002), it is considered worthwhile to conduct a study exploring adolescents’ attitudes toward violence on the basis of their exposure to screen violence, both passive (movies) and interactive (video/computer games)

1.3.1Research Objectives

The general objective of this study is to identify whether there is an effects of watching violence movies on the attitudes concerning aggression among secondary schoolboys. The specific objectives of this study are intended to: determine the habits of SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys in watching films. examine the level of affection of SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys to watch violence movies. identify the relationship between affection toward violent movie and attitudes concerning aggression among SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys.

1.3.2Research Questions

Based on the problems mentioned, the key questions to be studies are: are the habits of SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys in watching films? are the levels of affection of SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys toward violence movies?

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View our services there a relationship between affection toward violent movie and attitudes concerning aggression among SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys?

1.4.1 Conceptual Framework

Figure 1.4.1

1.4.2Conceptual Definition

Hypothesis 1

H1: The SMKDTHO secondary schoolboy’s habit in watching violence movies is watching violent movies with their parents.

Hypothesis 2

H1: The level of affection of SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys is high in watching violent movies.

Hypothesis 3

H1: There is a relationship between affection toward violent movie and attitudes concerning aggression among SMKDTHO secondary schoolboys.

1.5Scope of Study

The scope and coverage of this study will be targeted at the Form One until Form Five secondary schoolboys that is age between 13-17 years old in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Desa Tun Hussein Onn (SMKDTHO) in Kuala Lumpur. The main reason is because they have the potential to expose the research which is the effects of watching violence movies on the attitudes concerning aggression among secondary schoolboys. In this school, the entire students have different kind of attitudes and skill level toward the effect of violent movies. Some of them have their own perspective and preferences in watching violence movies. The expected amount of targeted respondents is 50 people and it is important to find out the relationship between affection toward violent movie and attitudes concerning aggression. This research will focus on quantitative method with questionnaire.

1.6Significance of the Study

Presentation to violence in the media can affect adolescent’s forceful conduct. The presentation to brutality in viewing the violent films can have on forceful conduct and dreadfulness on the teenager’s. Ann Cami (2008) talk about that even there is no proof supporting the thought that rough media can truly really increments violence wrongdoing, still research has mulled over that when a teen have watch a violent films, some may carry on forcefully, they may attempt to be a copycat, bully other individuals or may experience apprehension, create doubtful observations concerning the roughness that exists in this present reality, or grow less propelled good thinking methodologies. There are numerous cases we can see in our county Malaysia. So the primary reason is to know the impacts of viewing violent movies on the state of mind concerning hostility. Here, parents, teacher, the school administrators and the counsellor play important roles to help the teenagers about this.

1.6.1 Parents




A quantitative methodology is felt as the perfect system to be utilized for this study. This is on account of the writing audit has obviously demonstrated that this methodology is generally utilized as a part of the field of examination on media and their impacts on the general public. Moreover, a quantitative examination outline is relevant to the motivation behind the present study: to think about and foresee savagery related state of mind among pre-adult young men on the premise of their introduction to media roughness. In particular, the study utilizes a review examination outline technique that permits the incorporation of an extensive number of specimen (respondents) while considering a few mediating variables. Review procedure has a few qualities that make it more proficient to intercultural studies.

The area of this study was seven universal schools in Kuala Lumpur. The seven universal schools chose were The Alice Smith School, Mont’Kiara Worldwide School, Utama Global School, Arrangement Universal School, Fairview Global School, Sayfol Universal School, and Worldwide Indian Universal School. The point of interest of these worldwide schools has been gotten from Kuala Lumpur Instruction Office. As per rundown there were 10 Global schools in Kuala Lumpur of which three of them are elementary schools.

This study utilized the comprehensively 4-scale Likert sort instrument as the primary strategy for information accumulation. Likert is a psychometric scale habitually used in surveys structures, and is the most generally used scale in study mull over too. In the wake of offering an explanation to a Likert survey, specialist can recognize their level of consent to a subject. The information was gathered utilizing four instruments: the Demographic Poll, the Media survey Propensities Poll, the fondness to film viciousness scale, the State of mind concerning Hostility Scale.

3.1 Population and sample

The specimen estimate that has been utilized for this examination is taking into account the Krejcie, R.V and Morgan D.W (1970). Consequently, taking into account Krejcie and Morgan (1970) out of 865 schoolboys in Kuala Lumpur universal schools, the example was 260. Since the quantity of understudies in chose schools was unequal, circulating the polls was in view of the extent of number of schoolboys in each one school to the aggregate populace of understudies. Thusly, 30 to 45 polls were conveyed in diverse schools in light of the specified extents.

The choice to target guys can be portrayed by the way that immature young men are the fundamental crowd of activity motion pictures with abnormal amounts of brutality (Roe, 1995). They are additionally the most continuous feature films/PC diversion players (Griffiths, 1991). What’s more, since the past studies show, young men are more inclined to pick films with dream and human savagery as their top choice (Buchman & Funk, 2003). As the present study is gone for surveying youth demeanour to savagery on the premise of presentation to media brutality, this decision of the example of the study is sensible.

The testing system utilized for this study is methodical inspecting strategy. The fundamental concern in the utilize of precise inspecting with a consistent dispersing is that the things to be examined ought not to be set in an organized style which may compare to the dividing along transect or the network. (Carter & Gregorich, 2008) Methodical inspecting is regularly utilized and easy to apply; it comprises of taking each Kth testing unit after an arbitrary begin” (Kish 1995)


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