Research Paper: Media Violence and Aggressive Behavior

Pages: 3 (1156 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

Media and Aggressive Behavior

The media's influence on violence and aggression has indeed been a topic of great debate recently. Whether or not aggressive video games or violent television shows and movies affect an individual's ability to control their emotions is up for examination. Albert Bandura's bobo doll experiment has been cited as being the most influential study relating children to aggressive behaviors after watching a violent act on television. Most supporters state that this experiment is proof that watching too much violence in the media will affect a person's ability to be aggressive and in fact make children more prone to exhibiting violent behaviors (Perry 2013). The bobo doll experiment itself proved to be right in concluding that children are affected by watching others in violent acts. The conclusion that this has led to is a positive correlation between media and aggressive behavior. The more violence that individuals are exposed to, the more likely they are to think that violence is an acceptable manner of dealing with situations.

Television is an influential force in today's societies. However, the violent forms of television shows and the decreased censoring of these shows have resulted in an increase in aggressive behavior in children. According to a study conducted, children who spend more time in front of a television are more likely to commit acts of crime and violence toward others (Crane 2013). They are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors toward others and are more prone to getting into violent altercations with other individuals. This study shows that there is a link between violent media and aggressive behavior. Children learn from modeling and shaping, as Bandura's study demonstrated, so by seeing these violent actions constantly portrayed on television in an acceptable manner, it then becomes tolerable for children to continue on their violent tract (Rappaport 2004). The influence that media has had on multiple generations has been underestimated, especially in today's society where children are being exposed through so much by the way of the media. The Internet, television, and game consoles all provide children with an easy way of getting access to violence. This link is clearly established and serves as a reminder that children's violent media-watching should be diminished.

An increase in aggression can also be seen by the increase in antisocial behaviors among children and adults. It is this behavior that leads so many children to turn into adults that create such social chaos and are responsible for unthinkable acts of violence against innocent individuals (Rappaport 2004). This link is evident when looking into individuals who have committed mass crime or into individuals who have committed mass murder. A perfect example and one that is still fresh in the minds of many is the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Evidence has been discovered that has linked the perpetrator to violent video games and an obsession with violent media (CBS News 2013). This fascination with aggressive forms of media is believed to be the precursor and the inspiration to the event that killed twenty innocent children and six brave adults. Although this case is extremely rare, violent media became the inspiration of one crazed individual to commit such a horrendous crime. If one person can be affected so greatly by the media, then the potential for others to be just as affected also exists.

As children age, they learn to distinguish fantasy from reality. The difference between children who become aggressive… [END OF PREVIEW]

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